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Gerhard Heiming

The U.S. Army’s Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO) is having a Hybrid Electric Drive (HED) installed in a BRADLEY Infantry Fighting Vehicle for test purposes. Based on a development programme, the Army wants to increase the effectiveness of combat vehicles and the supply of electrical power in the vehicle to expand the basis for integrating future technologies and improve mobility on the battlefield.

BAE Systems, in cooperation with QinetiQ, will integrate a HED system into an M2/M3 BRADLEY in a €28m contract as a test bed for the development of the power supply architecture and for the evaluation of the impact on mobility. The use of the HED is expected to increase the available electrical power in the onboard power supply system of the combat vehicle. This is expected to result in positive effects on mobility, effectiveness and range, which should increase the overall operational capabilities of the vehicle, including the improved basis for drive-by-wire resulting from the HED, enabling automated driving to be introduced.

The key component of the HED is the electric Cross Drive Transmission (Modular E-X-Drive) developed by QinetiQ, which acts as a steering gear that distributes the drive energy to the tracks and also enables the energy transfer from the inner to the outer track necessary when cornering. QinetiQ has tested the transmission in numerous sample installations in tracked vehicles and has provided proof of performance and safety certification in laboratory and road tests. The integration work will start this summer.