A Hybrid For The Bradley?
By Mike Osenga20 July 2020
BAE Systems has been awarded a $32 million prototype agreement by the U.S. Army’s Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO) to integrate a hybrid electric drive (HED) system onto a Bradley Fighting Vehicle.
BAE Systems has been the manufacturer and systems integrator of the Bradley program for over 30 years, including conducting various upgrades based on customer needs and mission requirements.
BAE Systems and its project partner QinetiQ will use an existing Bradley Fighting Vehicle as the testbed for integrating the HED technology under the Combat Vehicle Power and Energy architecture and mobility capabilities development program. The integration work will begin this summer. BAE Systems and QinetiQ have a long-standing relationship in the development of vehicle HED technologies.
QinetiQ is developing the electric cross drive transmission (Modular E-X-Drive), a key component of an HED system for a tracked combat vehicles. QinetiQ said the Modular E-X-Drive has been tested in tracked vehicles and weight classes over the last decade. The designs have completed lab and vehicle tests, including safety certifications.
The engineering activities of the HED system will primarily occur at the BAE Systems’ Sterling Heights, Mich., and San Jose, Calif., facilities. Build is planned to be completed at the BAE Systems’ Sterling Heights prototype shop.
The development program is part of the Army’s effort to increase vehicle efficiency and boost power generation to support integration of future technologies and greater mobility for combat vehicles on the battlefield.
BAE said that HED systems can improve vehicle performance and provide drive-by-wire mobility to support autonomy in addition to increased power generation. With minor platform modifications, HED technology can be configured for various vehicles including the Bradley, the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle, the M109A7 self-propelled howitzers, and the family of Multiple Launch Rocket Systems, the company said.
“Integrating a Hybrid Electric Drive system into combat vehicles vastly increases on-board power and provides a significant increase in mobility, lethality options, and range, all of which enable overmatching operational capabilities,” said Scott Davis, vice president of BAE Systems’ Ground Vehicles product line. “BAE Systems has invested and collaborated with industry for more than 40 years to advance HED technology and develop vehicle architectures and demonstrators. A systems approach to vehicle electrification enables break-through capabilities in the current and future platforms our warfighters need to maintain battlefield superiority.”