Private firm OshoCorp Global has been selected by the Indian Army to indigenously develop an auxiliary power unit (APU) for its fleet of Russian-made T-72 and T-90 battle tanks, that help not only conserve the life of the main engine but also reduce thermal and acoustic signatures when deployed in specific situations.
Mr. Ashutosh Khate, CEO explained that T-72 and T-90 tanks are mainstays of the mechanized forces.
The auxiliary power unit (APU) is an alternate source of power for the fire control system of the tank and ancillaries to cater to power requirements, while deployed in surveillance mode during a lull in the battle, and during training, to conserve the life of the main engine of the tank.
Indian Army has asked OshoCorp Global to develop 2 units of the auxiliary power unit (APU) for T-72 and T-90 tanks each for trial and approval and later 3,257 APUs, which include 1,657 units for the T-90 and 1,600 units for the older T-72 will be ordered. Indian Army has also earmarked Rs 1,325.92 crore for this procurement.
According to the Army’s requirements, the APU should be able to concurrently operate the gunner, commander and driver sights, fire control system, radio sets, internal communication systems, navigation aids, and charge batteries when the main engine is switched off.
The APU should be able to function for six hours at a time in temperatures ranging from minus 50 °Celsius to 45 °Celsius and at altitudes ranging up to 16,000 feet.
Since the APU would be mounted on the exterior, it would also be required to be waterproof up to a depth of five meters to enable deep-fording by the tank. At present, the main engine has to be kept running to operate the systems even if the tank is stationary.
Besides reducing wear and tear of the main engine, the APU would increase the tank’s stealth capabilities since the noise and heat emission would be much lower.