The Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO) of the US Army has a Hybrid Electric Drive (HED) installed in a Bradley infantry fighting vehicle for testing purposes. The Army wants - based on a development program - to increase the effectiveness of combat vehicles and the supply of electrical power in vehicles. This is intended to expand the basis for the integration of future technologies and improve mobility on the battlefield.
BAE Systems will work with Qinetiq to integrate an HED system into an M2 / M3 Bradley in a EUR 28 million contract. The Bradley serves as a test vehicle for developing the power and energy supply architecture as well as for evaluating the impact on mobility. The use of the HED is expected to result in a higher available electrical power in the on-board network of the combat vehicle. This should have positive effects on mobility, effectiveness and range, which should increase the overall operational capabilities of the vehicle. This also includes the improved basis for drive-by-wire resulting from the HED, which can enable entry into automated driving.
The key component of the HED is the electric cross drive gear (Modular EX-Drive) developed by Qinetiq, which acts as a steering gear and distributes the drive energy to chains and also enables the energy transfer from the inner to the outer chain that is necessary when cornering. Qinetiq has tested the transmission in numerous sample installations in tracked vehicles and has provided proof of performance in laboratory and driving tests and received safety certifications.
The integration work will begin this summer.