Pakistan Army made a switch from Toyota to Land Rover vehicles in around 2001-2002. Sigma Motors, the assemblers of Land Rover Defender, sold around 25,000 vehicles to Pak Army in the time of twelve years, from 2004 to 2016. Initially, vehicles were imported from Turkey in between 2001-2002. Vehicles like Free Lander, Discovery, and Defender, were tested for the switch. Free Lander and Discovery were to be used for staff purposes, but the Army ultimately rejected both vehicles. Discovery, to be utilized in the field, was however chosen.
In 2003-2004, Sigma Motors leased the vacant Ghandhara Nissan Pakistan assembly plant and in 2004, first Pakistan assembled batch of Land Rover Defender was delivered to the Army.
Now, the latest news is that Sigma Motors is testing another vehicle to replace the Land Rover Defender. Sigma Motors is currently testing Ford Ranger TDCi for the Army. The vehicle being tested is a 2200 cc turbocharged diesel variant of the vehicle. There are two models of Ford Ranger TDCi available to the general public. One makes 118 BHP, and the other makes around 148 bhp. It is not clear for now if the Ford Ranger for the Pak Army is going to be one of these, engine specs and horsepower wise, or will it be upgraded to make more power. You can find 2.5- and 3.0-liter versions of Ford Ranger in foreign countries as well.
What we have been told is that the reason why Pakistan Army is bidding farewell to Land Rover Defender is because the automaker switched to monocoque chassis from the conventional ladder frame. Whereas, Army requires a vehicle with ladder frame. We don’t have a confirmation regarding this so take it with a pinch of salt.
There are no other details available yet. We will make sure to let you guys know if something new about the trails and testing comes up.