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Alex Zino, Director of Business Development and Future Programmes at Rolls-Royce, has set the record straight regarding the engine for India’s Zorawar Light Tank. He confirmed that the MTU 8V199 TE21 engine is indeed powering the Zorawar tank. Zino also confirmed that engine was delivered to L&T OEM of the Light Tank Program .

Earlier media reports suggested a switch to a Cummins engine due to delays in obtaining German export clearance (BAFA) for the MTU engine. Mr. Zino clarified that while there were initial delays, these have been resolved. The MTU engine delivering a powerful 600 kW (804hp) output, has now been integrated into the Zorawar platform as per information given by Mr. Zino to Indian Media.

The MTU Series 199 engine boasts a strong reputation as the best-selling tank engine in its power class. These 6- and 8-cylinder engines are known for their exceptional power-to-weight and power-to-volume ratios. Recognizing the need for even greater power in future applications, Rolls-Royce is developing a variant of the MTU Series 199 that will deliver a staggering 800 kW (1000hp) – a significant leap from the current 600 kW. This advancement will ensure optimal off-road mobility even for heavier vehicles.

While the Rolls-Royce assures that the Zorawar Light Tank project is utilizing the MTU 8V199 TE21 engine as originally planned, DRDO has not confirmed if it indeed is using MTU engine but it seems this has resolved export clearance paves the way for the project’s continued development with a powerful and reliable engine at its core. The prospect of a future, even more potent version of the MTU Series 199 engine further strengthens the capabilities envisioned for the Zorawar Light Tank.

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