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The Indian Army is gearing up to upgrade its existing fleet of T-72 tanks by equipping them with a more powerful 1000-hp engine and its associated systems. The upgrade falls under the “MAKE” category, which encourages the involvement of Indian industries in defence projects. As a result, Indian industries have the opportunity to participate in the Transfer of Technology (ToT) for the upgradation of T-72 tanks.

To accommodate the uprated engine and various value-added modules, the weight of the T-72 tank has increased from 41 tonnes to 44 tonnes. The Combat Vehicles Research & Development Establishment (CVRDE) has focused on improving the mobility characteristics of the tank by increasing the power output from the existing engine produced by the Ordnance Factory Board.

The power has been uprated from 780 hp to 1000 hp by retaining the core engine components and replacing only the peripheral systems such as the intake system, exhaust system, cooling system, and lubrication system. The uprated engine has successfully undergone 400 hours of endurance testing.

The integration of the uprated engine into the existing vehicle compartment requires minor modifications. To support the 1000 hp engine, a higher capacity efficient air filtration system and a compact cooling system have been integrated into the available vehicle compartment. Extensive evaluations of the uprated engine have been conducted at Avadi and various desert locations. User trials have been carried out in desert conditions during the summer, as well as medium fording evaluations.

All the upgradation modules required for the T-72 tank, including the turbocharger, charge air cooler, water pump, exhaust manifold, oil filter, air filtration system, and cooling system, are indigenously available. This upgradation solution is proven, easy to implement, time-saving, cost-effective, and completely indigenous, reflecting India’s commitment to self-reliance in defence technologies.

The upgrade of the T-72 tanks with the 1000 hp engine and associated systems will significantly enhance the mobility and operational capabilities of the Indian Army’s armoured forces. The increased power output will improve the tanks’ performance in challenging terrains and combat situations. By incorporating indigenous technology and leveraging the expertise of Indian industries, this upgradation initiative showcases India’s progress in developing advanced defence systems and reinforces its commitment to modernizing its armed forces.

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