Maiden test-firing of the first indigenously made 1500 Horsepower (HP) engine for Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) took place on Wednesday at the defence PSU Bharat Earth Movers Ltd’s (BEML’s) facility in Mysuru, helping the country to come closer to completely getting rid of dependence on Russia for spares and systems of more than 4000 tanks Indian Army posses.

Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane presided over the achievement which the Ministry of Defence (MoD) described as heralding a new era in the country’s defence capabilities.

Paradigm shift

The MoD on Wednesday officially stated that the 1500 HP engine represents a paradigm shift in military propulsion systems, possessing cutting-edge features such as a high power-to-weight ratio and operability in extreme conditions including high altitudes, sub-zero temperatures and desert environments.

“Equipped with advanced technologies, the engine stands on par with the most advanced engines globally,” said the MoD.

Inaugurating the test cell, the Defence Secretary described the achievement as a transformative moment which will enhance the capabilities of the Armed Forces. CMD of BEML Shantanu Roy said the accomplishment speaks of his company’s key contribution to defence production in the country, underscoring its commitment in this critical sector.

The first test-firing of the 1500 HP engine signifies the completion of generation one, focusing on technology stabilisation, said the Ministry. Generation two will see BEML producing engines for various trials at Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment, a DRDO laboratory, and their integration into actual vehicles for user testing. The project is slated for completion by mid of the next year. Initiated in August 2020, the project has been meticulously structured into five major milestones, ensuring timely completion and adherence to quality standards, the MoD observed.