The Indian Army has decided to phase-out Maruti Gypsy from its inventory with Mahindra Scorpio and Tata Safari in the race to replace the vehicle under a project expected to cost the force more than Rs 3,000 crore.
The Indian Army is the biggest customer of the Maruti Gypsy utility vehicles with more than 25,000 such vehicles in service and uses them in all light vehicle operations including counter-terrorist and counter-insurgency operations.
The summer trials of military versions of Mahindra Scorpio and Tata Safari will be held in Jodhpur in Rajasthan next week and the winter trials will be held in Sikkim by the end of this year,defence officials said here.
One of the reasons for the Army’s plans to phase out the petrol-run Gypsy with the diesel engine cars is the rising prices of petrol.
The Army has a requirement of around 30,000 new light utility 4X4 cars and has plans to initiate the phase-out of Gypsys by 2017.
The induction of these 30,000 new vehicles would be in a phased manner and the process is expected to be completed by the force in next 15-20 years.
In its tender floated for the procurement,the Army has stated that it wants general service vehicles weighing around 800 kg powered by a diesel engine,which should be Bharat Stage III and IV compliant.