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The United States has proposed the Stryker armoured fighting vehicle (AFV) to India, aiming to bolster its deterrence capabilities against China. While initial discussions involved co-development, India expressed concerns about Stryker’s current engine, deemed inadequate for operating in high-altitude regions.

The existing Stryker uses a Caterpillar C7 350 hp engine, which sources suggest might struggle in high-altitude areas where engines can lose 30-40% power due to thin air. The air defence system version offered to India would require the APC to carry significant weight, further stressing the engine.

To address these concerns, the US has offered India an upgraded version of the Stryker equipped with the Cummins-developed Advanced Combat Engine (ACE). This engine boasts 750 horsepower and utilizes innovative opposed-piston technology, providing superior power density and heat rejection compared to the current engine.

The US recently authorized the delivery of a 1000hp variant of the ACE to India for its Light Tank program, demonstrating its commitment to meeting India’s specific requirements. In addition to the US offer, India’s indigenous Wheeled Armoured Platform (WHAP) developed by DRDO and manufactured by Tata and Mahindra is also in contention for the Indian Army’s armoured vehicle contract.

Overall, the offer of the Stryker with an upgraded engine and the presence of a strong domestic competitor in the form of the WHAP highlights the growing strategic partnership between India and the US, and their shared interest in maintaining regional security.

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