A total of 4 new SUVs priced at around INR 25 lakh each, have been purchased by ITBP (Indo-Tibet Border Police Force). These are two Toyota Fortuner and two Ford Endeavour.
These will be used by the border guarding force at locations over 12,000 ft above sea level in places such as Burtse and Dungit in Ladakh sector besides Menchuka in Arunachal Pradesh.
It is for the first time that such expensive SUVs have been deployed for use, as no other border guarding force or defence units in forward areas have made use of top-end SUVs to date.
Orders have been issued that these SUVs will be exclusively for operational purposes, for the quick movement in these mountainous regions.
Each of the 4 high-end SUVs have been modified for use by the ITBP personnel with provisions for radio communication sets and seating for upto 6-7 persons along with firearms. The Ministry of Home Affairs had approved purchase of these high-end SUVs and these 4 models are the first such purchase under this approval.
The ITBP is in-charge of guarding the Sino-India border across a stretch of 3,488 kms. Most locations are at heights of 9,000 ft to 18,000 ft where temperatures are way below sub-zero degrees Celsius.
Toyota Fortuner and Ford Endeavor are both highly capable of tackling the most challenging of road conditions which make them ideally suited for use by the ITBP troops.
Until last month, Toyota Fortuner was the best selling SUV in the segment. But the new Ford Endeavour has changed the game completely. It is more powerful, fuel efficient and loaded with more tech. Hopefully the new gen Fortuner, which is scheduled for launch later this year, will be able to regain the lost No 1 position back from Endy.