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14 Feb, 2024 13:34

India to make own tank engines as Germany delays deliveries – media  

New Delhi could produce more parts for its Arjun Mark 1 model after manufacturers in the EU country announced a four-year wait
India to make own tank engines as Germany delays deliveries – media  

India is planning to develop its own engines for its Arjun Mark 1 tanks, after German manufacturers anticipated a minimum four-year wait before production resumes, national media outlets reported on Tuesday.  

New Delhi is considering accelerating its ongoing indigenous engine development project, sources told India Today TV. The plan involves initially equipping several tanks with German engines, before a transition to the local model. The efforts underscore India’s commitment to bolstering its defense capabilities through indigenous innovation.  

According to the Economic Times, the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) has started work on a domestic alternative, expected to be ready for production within three years. The DATRAN 1500 engine, initially designed for the Futuristic Main Battle Tank program, is undergoing modifications to integrate into the new Arjun Tanks, the report noted. The new engine underwent its first round of testing for the future tank program last year. 

India ordered 118 Arjun Mark 1-A Main Battle Tanks (MBTs), known colloquially as ‘Hunter Killers’ and valued at 75.2 billion rupees ($900 million), in 2021. The tanks are manufactured by the state-owned Heavy Vehicles Factory in Avadi, Chennai. The Arjun Mark 1-A represents a leap forward in technology, boasting new features and a higher indigenous component compared to its predecessor, the Mark-1. The tank is armed with a formidable 120mm rifled gun and fortified with Kanchan armor. 

The Indian Army currently relies primarily on Russian tanks, including around 1,900 license-built T-72M1s and around 1,500 T-90Ss, third-generation Russian main battle tanks developed to replace the T-72, according to Indian media. The Arjun tank finds itself in an intermediate position. While its turret and overall silhouette resemble those of the T90S, its indigenously developed Kanchan explosive reactive armor (ERA) mirrors heavier Western models, resulting in a hybrid with constrained operational capability. Last year, the Indian Army also invited proposals from private defense industry players and state-owned companies for the overhaul and extension of T-72 main battle tanks, which are more than four decades old.

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