SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK (INN)
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar Partially lifted Ban imposed on Czech-built Tatra trucks, but now it emerges that it will only be cleared to supply spares to existing 7500 trucks operated by Indian Armed forces and No New orders will be placed for purchase of Tatra trucks . Major Make in India effort to replace this trucks with locally developed Indigenous Trucks by Tata and Ashok Leyland will be now be pursued aggressively.
Mr Bhat who handles Tata Commercial Truck business in Goa speaking to idrw.org said that for last 30 years Indian armed forces preferred Imported Tatra trucks and there was no effort made to carry out local development of trucks by Private players in India due to lack of technology and also due to lack of Interest from the government .
Tata and Ashok Leyland have supplied light and Medium utility trucks for decades now to Indian armed forces and also in the last decade have provided special wheeled chassis which are capable of carrying Indian weapons systems like Akash and Brahmos Missiles and Surveillance Radars .
Bhat also explained that Current Military grade trucks developed by Tata are technology spin-offs from Commercially produced trucks in India, but there are limitations in maximum payload and axle carrying capacity to completely replace all grades of Heavy Trucks which have different roles sorted only by Armed forces . he further explained Heavy Military trucks have many such requirements which are not found in Commercially available trucks, one of the examples could be Centralized Tyre inflation and deflation system which allows Trucks to inflate or deflate tyres as per terrain conditions.
Army has completed trials for two types of trucks to replace Tatra – the six-wheeled-drive high-mobility vehicle and the eight-wheeled-drive high-mobility vehicles and soon will be placing orders for 1000 such trucks soon . Army also wants to induct more Field Artillery Tractors (FAT) Trucks which are literally used by Indian army for towing 130mm & 155 mm Medium guns which also has cabins for 10 gun crews and can also be used to carry dead Tanks for repairs or transport on a trailers .Private players are already working on such trucks.