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India’s Zorawar Light Tank program has taken an interesting turn with reports suggesting two potential engines in the running. While Rolls-Royce, through its MTU division, confirmed the supply of the MTU 8V199 TE21 engine as initially planned, export data reveals the presence of Cummins VTA903E-T760 engines also being shipped to India.

The MTU engine boasts a powerful 600 kW (804hp) output, while the Cummins T760, a modified version of the VTA903E-T750, delivers a close 567kW (760 HP). Both companies claim their engines have been supplied for the program.

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has remained tight-lipped on which engine is powering the first Zorawar prototype and the choice for production variants. This silence fuels speculation that the Cummins engine might be a backup plan.

Rolls-Royce’s Alex Zino confirmed initial delays in obtaining German export clearances for the MTU engine. This delay may have prompted India to explore alternatives like Cummins since Securing a backup engine ensures program continuity if issues arise with the MTU option.

The Zorawar program’s engine choice remains unclear. Testing and evaluation will determine which engine best suits the tank’s performance requirements. The final decision could involve factors beyond just power output, such as fuel efficiency, maintainability, and long-term support.

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