New Delhi: Tata Motors has offered its latest vehicles to the Defence Ministry to replace the controversial Tatra trucks, used so far to carry missiles such as Agni and Prithvi. The procurement of Tatra trucks has been put on hold pending a CBI probe into bribery allegations by former Army chief Gen VK Singh.
Tata Motors will make a presentation before Defence Ministry's Director General (Acquisition) SB Agnihotri about its latest vehicles offered by it to replace Tatra trucks for carrying missile systems of the armed forces such as BrahMos and Pinaka, Defence Ministry sources said.
The Ministry has already been offered trucks by Russian and Belarusian firms for replacing the Tatras including the Volat trucks from Belarus which are used to carry strategic missile systems of the Russian armed forces.
Due to the virtual ban on the procurement of Tatras, several key projects of the Army and the IAF have been put on hold including procurement of land-based version of BrahMos supersonic cruise missile for the Army and the IAF and the Pinaka rockets launchers for the land forces.
If the proposals made by these firms are accepted, they would be put under trials for being integrated with the missile systems, they said. Already, a significant number of Tata trucks are in service with the armed forces but they are in light and medium vehicle category.
More than 7,000 Tatra trucks are in service with the armed forces and after the controversy in March last year, their repair and maintenance have also become an issue in the defence forces.
Last March, Gen VK Singh had levelled allegations that he was offered a bribe of Rs 14 crore by a retired Lt Gen to clear a file relating to the procurement of over 600 of these trucks.