India has selected Germany’s 1000-horsepower diesel Ka-500 V8 engine for its light tank, a prototype of which is scheduled to go into production in 2023.
The light tank has been jointly developed by the DRDO Combat Vehicle Research and Development Center (CVRDE) along with Indian engineering giant Larsen & Toubro.
According to a source, DRDO selected the German made engine because of its reliability to power the 35-ton Indian combat vehicle.
The German 881 Ka-500 V8 water-cooled diesel engine produces 735 kW (1000 hp) at 2700 rpm using a single-stage turbocharger; the engine is also equipped with a fuel injection system that allows it to operate at ambient temperatures up to -46 ° C.
The fact that the engine also powers the K9 Vajra-T ACS was an important factor in its selection. Incidentally the Indian Army has around 100 K9 Vajra-T ACS, which is based on the Korean 155-mm K9 Thunder).
The engine is produced locally in collaboration with Larsen & Toubro.
As per the source, the K9 Vajra-T chassis in combination with a 105-mm gun was previously considered as a platform for the Indian light tank. However, with the project being abandoned, the platform for the light tank will be built on a promising platform which is based on the main battle tank of the future [FMBT].
A prototype of the FMBT is scheduled to be presented next year.
India is ramping up efforts to produce the light tank since currently it does not have the necessary armored vehicles to counter China’s T-15 light tanks in the high Himalayan terrain.
Earlier Russia had offered to sell its light tanks dubbed “Octopus-WYD1” to India. However, India has chosen to develop the project on its own.