Notwithstanding controversy, Tatra trucks produced by the state-owned Bharat Earth Movers Limited are taking part in the summer trials conducted by the army for procuring heavy trucks to ferry missile and artillery systems.
The army had issued a global tender for procuring over 255 heavy eight-wheeled trucks in 2010 and a few indigenous companies along with BEML are competiting, sources said in New Delhi.
The summer trials are being held in desert and hot and dusty conditions at different locations across the country after winter trials of the participating companies were held late last year, army sources said.
The army has carried out trials of six-wheeled trucks and Tatra is among the six companies including Tata and Ashok Leyland taking part in it. The tender issued in 2009 for buying around 1240 trucks was open only for Indian manufacturers.
The army had been procuring such trucks from BEML but after the changes in General Staff Qualitative Requirements (GSQR) in 2008, it was decided that they would be procured through multi vendor tenders.
The decision in this regard was taken in a meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council in 2008 chaired by Defence Minister A K Antony.
After the decision for procurement of trucks through multi-vendor tenders, the Army has inducted Tatra trucks in limited quantities for its urgent requirements.
The army has been procuring Tatra trucks since 1986 and more than 7,000 of them are in service with the armed forces and other defence organisations.Tatra hit the spotlight after Army Chief Gen V K Singh alleged that he was offered a Rs 14 crore bribe to clear 600 "sub-standard" trucks.