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Rolls-Royce Invests in Electric Drives

Rolls-Royce has entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with Magnetic Systems Technology Ltd (MST), a company specializing in power dense electric drives, permanent magnet motor systems and power electronics. As part of this agreement, Rolls-Royce is also taking a minority shareholding in MST.

Under the agreement, Rolls-Royce will assist in the development of electric drive systems, and provide manufacturing and marketing expertise for customers in aerospace, defence, marine and energy markets, including hybrid electric military vehicles. MST will continue to provide electric drive systems for land-based civilian and industrial applications.

The arrangement will allow MST to further develop its state-of-the-art technology for the military and aerospace markets for Rolls-Royce customers while strengthening its capability to supply its civilian customers with electric and hybrid drives.

—Marcus Jenkins, chairman of MST

MST has, since its inception 14 years ago, been a supplier of hybrid and electric vehicle drive technology for military and civilian markets. MST has developed series hybrid drives, parallel hybrid drives and wheel-hub drives for both military and cilian programs and manufacturers.


allen Z

You know when something has arrived when the high end version has come out. It is especially true when it was introduced for the green and the common consumer first. Usually it is the high end that get the tech, then it trickles down.


Rolls-Royce is an engine manufacturer. They sold their automobile segment years ago.

allen Z

High end, as in expensive or advanced capability, could also mean military! Specifically, hybrid military vehicles will allow for improved fuel/performance ratio levels. This may mean one or both: a) decreased logistical load b) increased performance. Running on electric mode will allow for improves acoustic and infrared stealth. Thus, special ops or recon units are a) more capable b) more survivable. Hybrid vehicles could also generate/store energy for various uses. They may be used as self-propelled battlefield generators or future energy demanding weapon/electronic system platforms. As for general units, for example a tank, a burst of acceleration could mean the difference of life or death if you are fired at by another tank with a APFSDS round. In urban combat, the ability for armored vehicles to dart from one cleared protective cover to another could be usefull.


Tremendous advantages of hybrid-electric drive (especially stealth electric mode with near zero thermal signature) is well recognized by US military. They spend hundreds of millions of dollars on such projects.


P.S. Allen:
APFSDS round is purely tank against tank combat stuff. After Cold War end it is purely fictional scenario. Guided anti-tank rockets is the main concern.

allen Z

While it is true tank vs tank combat (utilizing Sabot rounds) is rare, and modern ATGM are portable and capable (some supersonic), APFSDS rounds could also be fired from concealed and/or mobile auto/light cannons (20-57mm) to great effect against light vehicles and APC/MICV. Sabots AP rounds fired from heavy machine guns (14.5mm, .50, 12.7mm) could also do harm against light armor vehicles.
___That said, flank and rear shots from the venerable RPG-7, are also a concern in urban scenarios. Usually these sectors should be cleared and kept clear by infantry. One should note that an ATGM work best in open environments, with direct LOS engagements preferable. We can see this with Hizballah using Saggers, Metis, and very possibly Kornets against IDF armor (and infantry in buildings in the case with 9M14M). Flank, rear and top shots are preferable. With extensive bunker and tunnel system, in conjunction with rolling/hilly terrain, they are harrasing hilltop positions, and knocking out/immobilizing armor in the valleys and urban areas.
___Geting back to hybrids, night time ops would benefit from these capbilites. Many nighvision systems rely on infrared imaging. If a vehicle is on high ground, it may a) be nearly invisable to these imaging systems before it fires a shot b)once it does engage targets, it may move to cover and cool down systems, and move to another overlooking perch. With multiple overlooking positions occupied by vehicles, they can keep up direct fire support.

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