The Indian Army has decided to phase-out the Maruti Gypsy starting 2017. The Mahindra Scorpio and Tata Safari are in contention to replace the vehicle under a project that is expected to cost more than Rs 3,000 crore.
Both the Scorpio and Safari are under summer trials at Jodhpur in Rajasthan, while the winter trials will be conducted in Sikkim by the end of this year. The army plans to induct 30,000 light utility 4x4 vehicles in phased manner over next 15-20 years.
One of the main reasons behind Army’s plans is the rising petrol cost – both the new vehicles run on diesel. The Indian Army is the biggest customer for Maruti Gypsy with over 25,000 vehicles in service for light vehicle operations.
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.