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India has sought assistance from Germany in maintaining the MTU’s MT 881 Eight-Cylinder Diesel Engine, which powers the South Korean K-9 Vajra, a 155 mm self-propelled howitzer. The Indian Army, which currently operates 100 K-9 Vajra howitzers, is eager to procure an additional 100 units with a Winterization kit to enhance operations in high-altitude regions. However, to operate effectively in such areas with low oxygen levels, upgrades to the fuel pump and air filter of the MTU engine are required.

In light of these requirements, the Indian Army intends to procure another 100 K-9 Vajra howitzers for deployment on its western front. To ensure a more direct and reliable supply chain for the MTU engine, India is seeking the establishment of a local supply chain within the country. This would reduce dependence on South Korea for engine-related support and spare parts. Instead, India aims to establish a direct supply chain with MTU in Germany.

By collaborating with Germany and establishing a local supply chain for the MTU engine, India aims to streamline the maintenance and support processes for the K-9 Vajra howitzers. This move aligns with India’s broader objective of fostering indigenization and self-reliance in defence manufacturing. It will also strengthen the country’s defence ties with Germany, facilitating closer cooperation in the field of artillery systems. India’s pursuit of a direct supply chain for the MTU engine underscores its commitment to ensuring the availability of spare parts and support services for the K-9 Vajra howitzers.

As the Indian Army looks to expand its fleet of K-9 Vajra howitzers, the establishment of a local supply chain will contribute to a more efficient and self-sustaining defence ecosystem. This step forward will enhance India’s defence capabilities while fostering technological partnerships and collaboration with global defence manufacturers.

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