The logistic trucks play a vital role in the logistical network of the Indian army. They are the lifeline of the Indian army. Without them the movement of troops, ammunition, weapons, and other heavy loads is impossible. These trucks keep the Indian army war-ready all the time
In today’s article, we are going to look at the various trucks that the Indian army had used in the past and are using in the present as well. We will discuss only the primary logistic trucks.
Jonga One Tonner
When the British Army was being converted into the Indian Army it had only two trucks. These were Jonga which is popularly known as One tonner and the Leyland Hippo. It was manufactured or rather assembled in-vehicle Factory Jabalpur. The Jongasserved the Indian Army for a very long time. It was a quite versatile vehicle. It wasn’t a true truck. it also served as a utility vehicle on which RCL guns were often mounted.
The second truck was Leyland Hippo. Compared to Jonga it was quite bigger and could carry more troops at once. But these trucks were not that suitable for the Indian army and Indian terrain and thus could not serve for very long. These trucks started retiring from 1958 onwards.
In 1958 Indian army inducted a new logistic truck called Shaktiman. Shaktiman was actually a license version of the german MAN 415 truck. The MAN 415 kits were imported from Germany and assembled in Jabalpur. This system was carried on from 1958 to 1996. The sources of the spare parts were localized but the quality of these parts was not up to the standards. Due to this problem, the repair cost even exceeded the cost of a new truck as well as the duration between two successive repairs also reduced. Thus the availability rate declined sharply. Hence the Indian army placed the last order of 3000 trucks in 1993 which was delivered by Vehicle factory Jabalpur within 1996. However, the factory remained open until 2009 for repair and overhauling purposes. Over 75000+ Skahtiman trucks once remained in the Indian army’s service.
Ashok Leyland Stallion
In 1997 Indian army sought a new truck for the replacement of Shaktiman. This was the famous stallion. It was going to become the backbone of the logistics of the Indian army. It was a multi-terrain logistic truck which could operate in a temperature range of -40 degree Celsius to 50 degree Celsius. Stallion is powered by a 6 cylinder turbocharged diesel engine. Its superb ground clearance allowed it to conquer every terrain such as snow, desert, mountain or the jungles. This 4 by 4 truck had a spacious cabin with a hatch for renaissance purpose. Literally, anything could be carried in its large space. It found a variety of uses in the Indian army apart from carrying troops such as water tanker, school bus, mounted crane etc.. The army brats would have a sweet memory of this stallion school bus.
Stallion played a crucial role in the 1999 Kargil war. It carried battalions of troops to the frontline reliably. Not only that it also moved the much-needed ammunition and ration to the frontline
Stallion is completely indigenous. hence there are no issues with spare parts. It can be repaired locally with local spare parts. Thus it has a significantly low running cost. Currently, there are 60000 stallions in active service.
Tata LPTA 713
In 2015, the Indian army realized the need for a truck that could match the capability of a stallion but would be smaller in size. Tata LPTA 713 was the answer. It was as capable as a stallion but could go to the places where stallion could not. There are 15000+ trucks in active service as of now.
Over the years these logistics trucks have remained the backbone of the Indian army’s logistics. These are currently the most economical mode of transportation. These will ensure the quick movement of troops along with ammunition and ration to the frontline to keep our borders safe.