Tata Motors has offered its latest vehicles to the Defence Ministry to replace the controversial Tatra trucks. Till date, these trucks were used to carry missiles such as Agni and Prithvi.
The Tatra vehicles are undergoing a CBI probe for bribery allegations by the former Army chief Gen V K Singh. Tata Motors will present its latest vehicles before S.B. Agnihotri, Director General of Defense Ministry. These latest vehicles are meant to replace the Tatra vehicles for carrying missile systems of the armed forces such as Pinaka and BrahMos.
The Russian and Belarusian firms have already offered trucks to the Defence Ministry for replacing Tatra vehicles. The Belarusian firm has offered Volat trucks which are used to carry strategic missile systems of the Russian armed forces. Several important projects of the army and the IAF have been put on hold owing to the virtual ban on the procurement of Tatras. Even the 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 are on hold.
At present, a number of Tata trucks in the light and medium vehicle segment are in service with the armed forces. There are 7,000 Tatra trucks in service with the armed forces and after the controversy last year, their maintenance and repair have also become an issue. On March 2012, Gen V K Singh had said that he was offered a bribe of Rs. 14 crore by a retired general to clear a file relating to the procurement of more than 600 of these trucks.