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The joint development and production of the latest Stryker armoured infantry combat vehicles between India and the US face a hurdle: engine incompatibility. While both nations expressed interest in the project, India’s demanding terrain necessitates a more powerful engine than the current offering.

The Indian Army requires an engine capable of handling the harsh conditions of its borders, particularly the high altitudes of Ladakh and Sikkim. Caterpillar’s C7 engine, used in current Stryker models, falls short with its 300 horsepower output.

Recognizing this limitation, Caterpillar has proposed alternative engines:

  • C15 Industrial Diesel Engine: Generating 595 horsepower, the C15 offers significant power improvement, potentially meeting India’s needs.
  • C13 Industrial Diesel Engine: This option provides a balance of 536 horsepower.

Caterpillar has sweetened the deal by offering Technology Transfer (ToT) for the chosen engine, allowing India to locally produce both the engine and its spare parts.

Another American company, Cummins, has thrown its hat in the ring with its ISXe 600 diesel engine, boasting 600 horsepower. Notably, this engine already powers the Indian Army’s Infantry Protected Mobility Vehicle (IPMV), a variant of the DRDO WhAP platform.

The IPMV’s existing use of the ISXe 600 engine presents a potential advantage. Indian familiarity with its maintenance and logistics could simplify integration into the Stryker.

The selection of the right engine is crucial for the success of the Stryker co-production program. The Indian Army’s decision will depend on a careful evaluation of power requirements, operational needs, potential for domestic production, and existing experience with specific engines. A successful resolution to this issue will pave the way for a mutually beneficial collaboration between India and the US in the domain of Armoured vehicle production.

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