With the push towards electric technology growing in all defence sectors, research and development specialist QinteiQ have teamed with automotive manufacturer AM General to develop a hybrid of the latter company’s HMMWV (High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle) – more widely know at the Humvee.
The stated objective is to demonstrate the viability of electrifying military land vehicles to deliver enhanced performance while decarbonising military operations. This will lead on to further research into electrification to include autonomous systems and powering onboard systems such as sensors.
The COVID-19 pandemic restricted progress on delivering a prototype but the join team have developed two fully interactive and immersive Virtual Reality models of HUMVEE vehicles showing how QinetiQ’s electric drive technology is integrated into the vehicle. The models are different and can each be adapted with technology which can then be compared.
A QinetiQ statement reads: “The motors draw power via cables from a battery which can be positioned almost anywhere within the vehicle to give ultimate flexibility over the use of space. The hybrid electric drive system will enable the vehicles to tackle more hostile terrains, while increasing lethality by giving it the ability to conduct extended periods of silent watch and silent running. This includes minimising the vehicle’s acoustic and thermal signatures.” QinetiQ’s hybrid electric drive system also provides up to 30 percent less fuel consumption than purely combustion-powered alternatives.
Mike Sewart, chief technology officer at QinetiQ stated: “Advances in hybrid electric drive systems specifically for military vehicles mean there is now a credible alternative to conventional mechanical designs, revolutionising the way armed forces move and operate on the battlefield while reducing reliance on fossil fuels. This collaboration is a critical step for driving defence into a new age of sustainable, more versatile land combat vehicles, capable of tackling complex threats whilst minimising the impact on the environment.”
Regis Luther, senior vice president engineering & chief technology officer at AM General added: “Integrating electric drive technology into the HMMWV is an exciting first step in how we expect to deliver on the battlefields of the future.”
by Andrew Drwiega