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India achieved a significant milestone in its defence development on March 20, 2024, with the successful test-firing of its first indigenously-made 1500-horsepower (HP) engine for Main Battle Tanks. This groundbreaking engine was developed by BEML’s Engine division in Mysuru and represents a major leap forward in India’s quest for self-reliance in military technology.

Sources familiar with the program, speaking to, revealed plans for the next phase of development. The “Generation Two” iteration of this engine will be used for crucial trials on older Arjun tank prototypes starting in mid-2025.

These trials are designed to extensively test the engine’s performance under various operational conditions. The engine will undergo rigorous assessments in diverse environments, including scorching deserts, high-altitude terrains, and flat plains, mimicking the potential deployment scenarios for these tanks.

Indian Army officials will actively participate in these user trials, putting the engine through its paces for a total distance of nearly 50,000 kilometres. This comprehensive testing regime aims to ensure the engine’s robustness and reliability before mass production commences.

To expedite the testing process, BEML is likely to equip at least two Arjun prototypes with the 1500 HP engines for mobility trials. These trials are planned for completion by mid-2026, paving the way for a potential upgrade of the Arjun tank fleet with this powerful domestic engine.

The successful development and testing of this engine mark a crucial step towards a more self-reliant Indian military. This indigenous technology has the potential to significantly enhance the mobility and operational capabilities of India’s Main Battle Tanks.

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