HomeAatmanirbhar Bharat1,450 Indian Army T-90 tanks to receive indigenous DATRAN engine upgrade

1,450 Indian Army T-90 tanks to receive indigenous DATRAN engine upgrade

Source : IgMp Bureau

1,450 Indian Army T-90 tanks to receive indigenous DATRAN engine upgrade

In light of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and the evolving landscape of modern warfare, India is set to undertake a substantial enhancement of its fleet comprising 1450 Russian T-90 Main Battle Tanks (MBTs). The objective behind this upgrade initiative is twofold: bolstering armor protection and augmenting firepower capabilities. To accommodate these advancements and potential increased weight, the Indian Army is evaluating the adoption of a cutting-edge engine – the DRDO-conceived DATRAN 1500hp.

Rising to the Challenge: Strengthening Armor and Firepower

The turmoil in Ukraine serves as a poignant reminder of the significance of robust tank armor and firepower in contemporary battle scenarios. Observing the performance of T-90s during the conflict, the Indian Army is determined to equip its fleet with enhanced armor and state-of-the-art weaponry to ensure their efficacy across varied terrains and against emerging threats.

Introducing DATRAN 1500hp: A Technological Leap

Jointly developed by DRDO and Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML), the DATRAN 1500hp engine is presently undergoing rigorous testing as part of the Futuristic Main Battle Tank (FMBT) program, slated to replace T-72 MBTs starting from 2030. However, owing to its impressive power output and adaptable design, it emerges as a compelling candidate for the T-90 upgrade initiative as well.

DATRAN 1500 Main Battle Tank Engine Test
Testbed at CVRDE for testing of new generation diesel engines for Main Battle Tanks (MBT)

Crucial Factors to Consider

Modular Design: The DATRAN engine’s modular architecture facilitates variable power output, spanning from 1200 to 1500 horsepower. This adaptability is pivotal, particularly in high-altitude battlegrounds, where increased power is imperative for maneuverability.

1,450 Indian Army T-90 tanks to receive indigenous DATRAN engine upgradeTestbed at CVRDE for testing of new generation DATRAN diesel engines for Main Battle Tanks (MBT)

Detuning: The decision regarding whether to detune the 1500hp engine for T-90s or employ the full-powered version remains undecided. Factors such as weight limitations and the envisioned upgrade package for the tanks will likely influence this determination.

Strategic Timeline

While the FMBT program, integrating DATRAN-powered engines, is scheduled to commence in 2030, the T-90 upgrade endeavor is anticipated to kick off around 2028. This phased approach ensures a seamless modernization process while mitigating disruptions to the army’s operational capabilities.

Fortifying India’s Armored Capabilities

India’s T-90 upgrade program marks a significant stride in fortifying its armored capabilities. By addressing critical aspects like engine potency, armor protection, and firepower, the Indian Army aims to ensure that its T-90 fleet remains a formidable presence in the region for the foreseeable future.

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