21 April 2016
PT-91M MBT (photo : lowyat)
Renk France is offering a powerpack upgrade for the Malaysian Army’s PT-91 main battle tank at the Defence Services Asia exhibition.
The vehicle transmission manufacturing company is displaying its Powerpack 350S that uses ESM350 automatic transmission, and is powered by the Scania D1I6 engine specially made to fit together to improve the performance of T-72, T-90, M-84 and PT-91 tanks.
A spokesperson said that it was a brand new design that can fit into the PT-91 chassis without any modifications needed. The Scania engine can offer 883kW.
He said that the 350S can offer a top speed of 70 km/h, which is more than the 60 km/h achieved by the existing Wola engine from Poland. It can also achieve 33 km/h in reverse, a great deal more than the 4km/h that the PT-91 can achieve now.
A key feature is that the upgrade will also install a steering wheel with automatic gears that is managed in the transmission system. This makes it much easier to drive versus the old manual control and cheaper to train drivers.
The system can also achieve higher acceleration without break damage and it can reach 1,090rpm, which is slightly higher than the 1,000rpm of the existing engine. It has fully hydraulic coupling, one filtration system, a two-stage cooling process instead of just one – important for hot Asian climates – and has external sensors instead of having them all inside allowing for easy access and changes.
The upgrade will also allow the tank to turn within its own length pivoting on both tracks, something that it cannot do at the moment as it can only pivot one track. This means the turning circle is wider and is more restrictive in areas where space for movement is limited, like urban areas.
Another key feature is that the entire powerpack can be removed from the tank in about 45 minutes to one hour – a process that usually takes days – allowing for faster repair and overhaul, or for the installation of a replacement.
Furthermore, the spokesperson commented that whilst the powerpack design is new most of the engine components from Scania are readily available on the commercial market meaning that it is cheaper and easier to maintain.
Renk is in discussions with the Malaysian Army about securing an engine upgrade programme to improve the mobility capabilities of the PT-91. It has 48 tanks in its inventory.