New Delhi: Indian agencies have decided that they will continue to use the American Cummins engine for the entire Zorawar light tank project, which got delayed by a few months due to issues in the supply of German engines.
“The German clearances have come now and their firms are ready to supply the engines but it has now been decided that we will go ahead with the Cummins engine only for the entire programme,” sources in the Defence Research and Development Organisation said.
The Zorawar light tank project was earlier planned to be developed with a German engine but it got delayed due to a lack of German export control clearances known as BAFA clearance after which it was decided to be developed with the American engine.
The Zorawar light tank is a joint venture between DRDO and private sector firm Larsen and Toubro.
The light tank prototype with the American Cummins engine is almost ready and will start undergoing trials by the end of this year.
After the internal trials, the main trials will start in the desert sector first and after that, they will be taken to the high-altitude areas of Ladakh and the Sikkim sector.
The tank is planned to be used in all terrains and will be tested in all conditions for that purpose, the sources said.
The need for the light tank was felt during the ongoing standoff with China in 2020 when the People’s Liberation Army showed up along the Line of Actual Control with their light tanks which can travel and manoeuvre faster than the conventional tanks.
The tank has been named after the legendary General Zorawar Singh who led multiple successful victories in Tibet which is now controlled by the Chinese Army.
After the standoff started, the Indian Army had to induct a considerable number of T-72 and T-90 tanks in operational areas, gaining tactical surprise over the adversary and thereby forcing the adversary on a back foot.