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13 Aug 07. The diesel-electric hybrid hype has met its match: the U.S. Army. After focusing on hydrogen fuel cells in its original version of “The Aggressor,” a high-performance, off-road Alternative Mobility Vehicle (AMV) for military ground exploration and scouting missions, the Pentagon is now going the way of Detroit — with batteries. The new, second-generation prototype will still utilize the same basic chassis and exterior design for light-duty capacity. But the Army’s auto research arm — part of the Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) — has developed a battery-dominant, hybrid-electric drivetrain with a diesel engine-generator. That could make the new Aggressor the first hybrid to hit the streets of Baghdad en masse. A wider, 66-in. body design makes room for high-performance acceleration — as military vehicles go — with the second-gen Aggressor set to rev from 0-40 mph in four seconds and top out at 80 mph. But speed is not the main attraction here; stealth is. The Aggressor’s design provides battery-only operations, allowing it to switch into “silent mode” with a reduced thermal signature. Combine that with extended range and exportable power, and this should be one tough-to-detect AMV for missions involving communications, surveillance and targeting. While the first prototype, built in 2004, never made it beyond military testing and evaluation, the new pre-production Aggressors aim to be energy- and mission-sustainable. “We believe that the AMV program offers an innovative solution as a long-range reconnaissance vehicle that fills a technology gap for the U.S. Army in its national defense efforts while reducing its fuel logistic burden,” said Alan Niedzwieki, president and CEO of Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies, which the Army contracted for both versions of the Aggressor. (Source: Military.com)
15 Aug 07. BAE Systems demonstrated the first hybrid electric drive system for ground combat vehicles as part of the U.S. Army’s Future Combat Systems (FCS) program. Creation of the hybrid electric drive system, led by BAE Systems, is a joint development with General Dynamics Land Systems in partnership with the Army and the FCS Lead Systems Integrator team of Boeing and Science Applications International Corp. The FCS Manned Ground Vehicles (MGV) family of eight vehicles is the first ever planned operational Army suite of ground combat vehicles to use hybrid electric technology. The first use of the hybrid electric drive technology will be in the Non-Line-of-Sight Cannon (NLOS-C) – the lead FCS ground combat vehicle slated to begin initial production in 2008. The NLOS-C, designed and built by BAE Systems – in partnership with General Dynamics Land Systems — is a fully automated, 155mm self-propelled howitzer. FCS is the U.S. Army’s principle modernization program, which is made up of a family of manned and unmanned ground and air systems, and sensors connected by a common network. The test held today in Santa Clara marks a significant milestone in technological maturity of the hybrid electric drive system. Today’s test is the first evaluation of the complete MGV hybrid electric system consisting of the engine, generator, generator dissipater controller, traction drive system, energy storage system, and cooling subsystem. The hybrid electric drive is the cornerstone of integrated power management designed to meet the demands of future ground combat vehicles in a networked environment while allowing the tailoring of power and cooling dictated by the mission.
09 Aug 07. Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing has announced that Tilcon Software has expanded its support of Curtiss-Wright hardware by offering their EVE user interface engine for use on the rugged dual-PowerPC-based SVME/DMV-183 6U VME single board computer (SBC) when combined with the SPMC/DPMC-704 Graphics PCI Mezzanine Card (PMC).