Tata Motors, the homegrown automaker and India's largest commercial vehicle maker is in final talks to sell 600 military trucks to the Royal Thai Army of Thailand. Information regarding the order was revealed by the Ambassador of Thailand to India, Chutintorn Sam Gongsakdi. Lauding Tata’s LPTA military truck’s capabilities, Gongsakdi stated that the trucks are “rugged and easy to maintain”.
The LPTA truck is essentially a combat support vehicle that has served the Indian Army since 2015. The vehicle is available in 4x4, 6x6, 8x8, 10x10 and 12x12 configurations and was manufactured to reduce our country’s dependency on the Czech-designed Tatra trucks.
Currently, the Indian Army boasts of more than 10,000 Tatra trucks in service which were popular for their versatility and reliable performance, perfectly suiting the needs of the Indian army. Reports also suggest that the Tata military vehicles will be a primary product that will be replacing the fleet of Tatra trucks in the Indian Army.
A few notable features of the truck comes in the form of a cab over engine modular design, roof hatches for observation, firing and emergency exit, hydraulic crane for handling equipment, central tire inflation system, HVAC and a powerful winch at the front.
The 6x6 and the 8x8 variants of the truck are powered by a Cummins ISLe motor that delivers 375 hp. Meanwhile, the 12x12 variant uses a Cummins ISXe engine that outputs 525 hp and 2000 Nm of torque. The truck gets automatic transmission with 7 forward and 1 reverse gear. Overall, it tips the scale at 53,800 kg and can carry 33,000 kg of cargo at a time.
The Indian Army currently uses a range of Tata LPTA trucks and the 4x4 variant is among the most widely-used model with over 15,000 units in the fleet already. As mentioned before, the trucks are highly versatile and have been serving various purposes.
For instance, the 8x8 variant was finalised as the vehicle of choice for launching SPYDER short-range surface to air missiles. Tata Motors has also proposed that the 8x8 variant is capable to be used for Pinaka MBRL. Similarly, the 12x12 variant can also be used as a platform to launch the Nirbhay missile.
What variants the Royal Thai Army is buying is not yet disclosed.