Army Stallion

 

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Despite the dissent of his parents, Karan Shergill, played by Hrithik Roshan, enrolls in the Indian Military Academy (IMA) in the Hindi movie ‘Lakshya’. Released in 2004, ‘Lakshya’ (goal in English) was a war movie that focused upon Karan Shergill, a young lad attracted to the Indian Army after learning of his friend having joined the army. Karan finds a place at the IMA. A few days into the training, and he drops out. Once opposed to his decision of joining the army, Karan’s parents express their displeasure about him quitting. Karan’s girlfriend deserts him. Shaken by the turn of events, Karan rethinks his decision. He rejoins the course and completes it successfully. He joins the army ranks as a Lieutenant, and is posted at the base camp leading up to the war grounds of Kargil. Upon the news of armed Pakistani infiltration at Kargil, Karan’s battalion receives orders to move to the Line of Control (LoC). His battalion begins their journey to the LoC across the hostile mountainous terrain in jeeps and army trucks. A part of this convoy are the Ashok Leyland Stallion four-wheel drive 4×2 trucks. When the Kargil war broke out in 1999, the Indian Army pressed numerous Stallions that it had in its fleet to transport soldiers, ammunition, cargo, and more, to the war zone.

Ashok Leyland Stallion is claimed to have entered into the Indian Army service in 1997. The Indian Army was looking at replacing its aging fleet of Shaktiman trucks based on an old MAN truck design. Derived from a civilian version of a light-duty truck that Ashok Leyland introduced in 1987 in association with Iveco that traced its roots to the Ford Cargo, the Stallion range resulted out of Ashok Leyland’s ambition to pursue defense business. The Stallion was inducted in the army as a 5-tonne 4×4 high ground clearance truck. On hard surfaces the truck could carry up to 7.5 tonne. With an impressive payload-to-weight ratio in its class, over 70,000 Stallions are said to have been inducted into the army till date.Assembled by the Vehicle Factory Jabalpur (VFJ) from CKD kits provided by Ashok Leyland Defence Systems (ALDS), the Stallions are serving multiple logistical and tactical applications. The standard troop and cargo carrying body is fitted with drop sides and tailgate, removable bows and tarpaulin. The vehicle is fitted with a two-person sleeper cab, similar to the previous Stallion Mk.3. Powered by a Ashok Leyland W06DTI 177 bhp, 5.7-litre turbocharged diesel engine, the Stallion’s operation range is between -40 degree Celsius and +55 degree Celsius, and at altitudes of up to 5500 m. Transmission is a five-speed synchromesh unit with a transfer case. Propeller shafts route power to a full-floating, single-speed Hypoid drive front and rear axle. The hypoid drive allows for unique gear configurations. Cabin and the superstructure are bolted to an all steel and ladder type frame. Apart from the baseline Stallion, which is capable of accepting a wide variety of body types or shelters, the military truck has also come to have a 6×6 (Stallion HMV) version. The payload capacity is the same. Powering the vehicle however is a 260 hp diesel engine with improved mobility over difficult terrain. A 12×12 Super Stallion version is said to be in the works.

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As for Karan, and if he achieved his ‘Lakshya’, it may be well worth to watch the movie. It is thrilling as well as interesting for certain.