Tata Motors has signed a contract to supply 3,192 units of its Safari Storme 4x4 model to the Indian Army. The Storme was selected after almost a year of stringent tests with other models such as the Mahindra Scorpio, but since the Storme is better equipped to deal with army requirements, it was selected.
The Army made the screening process very clear and ensured that the car to be selected met these three requirements:
1. The car had to have a minimum payload capacity of 800kg.
2. A hard roof was essential.
3. And the most obvious one, air conditioning.
The Storme that will be used by the army will be very different than the one available in the market and will have an upgraded drivetrain, heavily modified suspension and other changes. Speaking about the deal, Vernon Noronha, Vice President, Defence & Government Business, Tata Motors Limited said, "We are very proud to have received this prestigious order for over 3000 units of the Safari Storme under the newly formed GS800 category. Tata Motors has been a leading supplier of mobility solutions to the Indian Armed Forces and this order is a testimony to our partnership with the country's security forces. This variant of the Storme has been modified from the one available for civilians with an upgraded drivetrain and significantly modified suspension. The Safari Storme was conceived and designed keeping in mind the need for a rugged, comfortable and reliable vehicle, making it popular with law enforcement agencies. We will shortly commence delivery of these vehicles to the Army and Navy in a phased manner."
Prior to recruiting Tata, the army was using the Gypsy for similar purposes, but since it does not really meet the need of a hard top, the army decided to move away from the GS500 (General Service 500kg) platform.