Countering China: India chooses US firm Cummins for engines of indigenous light tank for Indian Army


Countering China: India has chosen American company Cummins to supply engines for its indigenous light tanks, which are urgently needed to counter Chinese deployments in high altitudes, according to an ET report. The project to develop these light tanks was approved last year, with Larsen and Toubro collaborating with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to create a prototype.


However, according to the report the project faced obstacles when a German firm, selected for engine supply due to its high power-to-weight ratio, failed to reach an agreement. Despite months of negotiations, the German company could not commit to delivering the engines on time, even after diplomatic intervention, defence insiders said. This delay hindered the progress of the light tank development. As a result, the decision was made to engage with American companies, and Cummins' offer was accepted.


The Indian Army has estimated that it requires 354 light tanks in the high altitude areas of Ladakh. Out of these, L&T-DRDO will manufacture 59 tanks, while the remaining tanks will be produced by other Indian companies after a bidding process. The development plan for the Indian light tank is named Project Zorawar. This tank will incorporate modern features such as artificial intelligence integration, drone warfare capabilities, and active protection systems.


The L&T-DRDO option is based on the chassis of the K9 Vajra self-propelled artillery, which is currently in service and manufactured in India for the Army. The light tanks must be able to operate effectively in various terrains, including high altitude areas and island territories. Additionally, they need to be air-transportable for rapid deployment. Officials have emphasized the importance of a lightweight and agile platform with substantial firepower, protection, surveillance, and communication capabilities.

L&T-DRDO选择基于K9 Vajra自行火炮的底盘,该火炮目前在印度陆军服役并在印度生产。轻型坦克必须能够在各种地形上有效作战,包括高海拔地区和岛屿。此外,为了快速部署,需要可空运。官员们强调了轻型灵活平台的重要性,该平台具有强大的火力、保护、监视和通信能力。

The need for a light tank arose two years ago when China deployed a significant number of troops and heavy equipment to disputed areas in eastern Ladakh. China's introduction of new type 15 light tanks along the Line of Actual Control in April 2020 temporarily gave them an advantage. In response, the Indian Army deployed several T-72 and T-90 tanks, which were heavier and designed for operations in plains and deserts. While these deployments had a deterrence impact, they faced limitations in high altitude areas.




Sarvan M

Amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, India has launched 'Operation Ajay' to repatriate Indians from Israel. Union External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar announced that the Government will assist citizens who wish to return from Israel.



0 0 • Reply • Flag

Any initiative to strengthen Indian defense is a good move only. Pray it should continue even after 2024.




Cummins has been producing engine in India in collaboration with Kirloskar in Pune for last more than sixty years. Whether they were used for Indian battle tank or not is not very well known. However since the battle tank engine issue has been pending means that they were not. With this arrangement now that hurdles will be clear. Good for the country.



0 0 • Reply • Flag

Why this paper gives "for countering China" as the reason for every news item on Armed Forces equip themselves to make up the long neglected deficiency by the Congress government. The headlines should rather bring out this fact rather than to counter China. The threat from China was there even in 1947! Nehru and other OMs did nothing to develop infrastructure and fortify defence apparatus. They are being made up now.




Jay Kumar

So all the rethorics of Atmanirbhar , make in India falls apart ! How can we be a strong nation when we aren’t self reliant on defense equipments. Name any economic giant country in the world, who survive by just importing gears to defend itself? The headline is also misleading, can we really counter China that way ?



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Kirloskar India has a standing and robust coperation with Cummins. Atmanirbhar does not mean you waste time and energy reinventing the wheel. Yes like China we will not di reverse engineering and claim the development as own. Atmanirbhar means develo infrastructure,,skill sets to manufacture in India and not waste tax payers money like in the time of Congress and UPA. it took 25 years to develop Insas and scrap it in five years.



0 0 • Reply • Flag

India needs to go a long way when it comes to Engineering. As of today cannot make a good enough petrol engine for its cars. Tata has shown some innovation but still their basic design is old Meredez style. Every car or Truck made in India has main components designed elsewhere. India needs to catch up quickly.



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I work as Senior Technical Advisor in the R&D of multinational company in Houston. Most of my companies designs are done by people in Pune. So I know India has the potential and capability but no desire to lead (until now since the last few years). All petrol cars made in India have foriegn designed engines. Even Mahendra vehicles have foreign engines. Tata cannot make a good enough diesel engine yet they own famous brands like JLR. As I said, ... Read More



Vijaya Rajan

I was under the impression that indians are world class designers for semiconductors - the pinnacle of tech. Designing an engine should be an easy task for these talented and highly skilled sought after by MNCs.



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Cummins has been in India longtime with kirloskar..nothing is indigenous..



No more BS

It's not India choosing US to counter China. It's US choosing (using) India to counter China.



0 2 • Reply • Flag

Excellent Developments by NDA led BJP.

全国民 主联盟领导的人民党取得了出色的进展。


Subbarao Shamarao

Hamas attack on Israel should be lesson to India also. Pakistan terrorists may plan similar attack in Indian soil. Commanders training should include this type of war also.



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how is it indigenous..if engines are foreign origin..drdo needs to learn from isro



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India need more ammunition stockpile as Chinese intent not good...MOD must increase ammunitions mortar production as WW is nearing...



6 0 • Reply • Flag

Cummins prospering a better world



2 0 • Reply • Flag

will these also be developed in India like the GE jet engine deal signed in PM's visit to US?



3 0 • Reply • Flag

China is not only treacherous but its whole range of products are sub-standard. It is foolish to purchase any from China.



Deepak Hegde

Germany will always be an unreliable supplier for military hardware better not go with HDW for the submarines as well !

德国永远是一个不可靠的军事硬件供应商,最好不要买HDW的潜艇 !


2 0 • Reply • Flag

Build build build


Rational Corp




Shubhang Pandya

DRDO has been chastised and chronic delays have become a past- showing what a good political leadership can do.



Rational Corp

Importing engines from abroad? DRDO is testament to the limits of Indian capacity to innovate and manufacture. Why blame DRDO for what is inherently an Indian thing? Does anyone blame Indians for not wng as many medals as China in Olympics?



1 0 • Reply • Flag

After the recent developments between Russia & Ukraine, and between Israel & Palestine, it is better that India is between prepared along it's borders.


三泰虎原创译文,禁止转载!:首页 > 印度看中国 » 印媒:为了对抗中国,印度选择美国康明斯公司为国产轻型坦克提供发动机