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26 Sep 02. QinetiQ has won a prestigious contract with the MoD to analyse the performance and assess the overall suitability of hybrid electric drive (HED) systems for military vehicles (which will use electric transmissions, power generators and stored energy systems). Under this Applied Research Programme (ARP) contract, won in competition, QinetiQ will act as systems integrator for the design and build of a 6 wheel, 18 tonne technology demonstrator, with individual wheel control. QinetiQ will evaluate its performance in realistic military environments and undertake a range of studies to provide the first in-depth UK MoD assessment of HED technology.

Comment: Hybrid drive is a requirement for the FRES armoured vehicle requirement and was extensively researched by both TRACER/FSCS teams with the Lancer team choosing to integrate it into its demonstrator. At present range and vulnerability remain key questions to this technology on the downside with lack of noise and emissions being on the plus side. Oshkosh has undertaken extensive Hybrid trials as reported in our AUSA and DVD review issues whilst 9 hybrid-drive HMMVs have been supplied to the US Army. There is no doubt that this is the technology of the future but will require further research such as this awarded to QinetiQ before it is accepted as front-line technology.

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