December 6, 2022

India Sticks to German Ka-500 V8 engine for DRDO new light tank

The future Indian light tank, jointly developed by the DRDO Combat Vehicle Research and Development Center [CVRDE] and the private company Larsen & Toubro, plans to be equipped with a German MTU MT 881 Ka-500 V8 diesel engine.

About the choice of this power unit with a capacity of 1000 hp to equip a promising 35-ton Indian combat vehicle, according to local resource

The MTU MT 881 Ka-500 V8 water-cooled diesel engine with 735 kW [1000 hp] at 2700 rpm uses a single-stage turbocharger and is equipped with a fuel injection system that allows it to operate at ambient temperatures up to -46 ° C.

This choice was probably supported by the fact that this is the engine equipped with K9 Vajra-T ACS [the Indian Army has about 100 such units based on the Korean 155-mm K9 Thunder], which produced a localized version of which was engaged in Larsen & Toubro.

The Indian resource notes that the K9 Vajra-T chassis in combination with a 105-mm gun was also previously considered as a platform for an Indian light tank. However, so far, this project seems to have been abandoned and a light tank is planned to be built on a promising Indian platform from the main battle tank of the future [FMBT].

A prototype of this machine is planned to be presented next year. The project is in a hurry, as the Indian Army does not currently have the necessary armored vehicles to counter Chinese T-15 light tanks in the highlands.

It should also be added that a little earlier, Russia announced plans to sell its light tanks “Octopus-WYD1” to India. However, it seems that the Indian army has once again given up [as once from the Msta-C AC in favor of the K9 Vajra-T] from Russian weapons and wants to develop its project.


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