Satellite Shankar made waves ahead of its release owing to a unique premise and more so a unique title. The movie stars young actor Sooraj Pancholi in the lead as a happy go, lucky soldier, KPG Shankar. Named after supreme deity – Lord Shiva, he is a true patriot and a helping soul from the first frame. Director Irfan Kamal, in a bid to differentiate from the pool of soldier centric movies, aplenty in Bollywood, thankfully does away with the common portrayal of soldiers writing letters or making range-restricted calls to their loved ones. He instead, hands down his lead, a teleporting prop. A scale model of the shivling, the plot tries hard to convince movie buffs of lord Shiva residing in it and Shankar having access to the deity at will. Shankar is nicknamed ‘Satellite Shankar’ for this noble deed of helping fellow soldiers hypothetically transfer their energies without having to physically traverse the distance. Ironically, when it’s his turn to reach out to his mother, the injured Satellite Shankar prefers the army Tata Defence Load Carrier LPTA 713 (LPTA 713) to steer past the first leg of his high-altitude journey in Kashmir en route Kanyakumari, to visit his ailing mother on ‘Sainik Shapath’, a soldier’s promise. The LPTA 713 is the director’s vehicle to etch a patriot and his love for countrymen above all.


The LPTA 713 featured in the movie, is known to have entered service as a soft-top troop/cargo carrier for the Indian army in 1999 besides plying in export markets like Nepal, Afghanistan and South Africa. The LPTA 713 is easy to identify as a defence vehicle with utility addons like a blackout lamp, convoy lamps, D-shaped shackles at the front and a tow pin and hook. Capable of ferrying a 2.5-tonne payload and a troop seating capacity of 12-14, the GVW 7.75-tonne truck is capable of towing trailers weighing up to five-tonne with ease. Notably, the spare wheel sits pretty between the full forward cabin (D+1 seating with a roof hatch) and the skeletal haulage tray with collapsable sides and tailgate as a design element to lend to the rugged persona synonymous with defence vehicles.

Built on the ladder-type frame truck chassis with riveted cross members, the all-wheel-drive of the LPTA 713 offers an advanced terrain response and manoeuvrability. Powered by an inline six-litre, BSIII turbocharged diesel, six-cylinder Tata Cummins engine, it has a rated peak power of 155 hp at 2500 rpm and a peak torque of 590 Nm at 1500 rpm. Mated to a six-speed, synchromesh transmission, the truck comes pre-loaded with dual circuit full air S-cam brakes. The suspension is of the semi-elliptical leaf spring type on the LPTA 713. While porting Satellite Shankar it subtly reminds us of its iconic lineage.

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