|The NLOS-C self-propelled howitzer is the first application of the common hybrid drive system.|
BAE Systems demonstrated the first hybrid-electric drive system for ground combat vehicles as part of the US Army’s Future Combat Systems (FCS) program.
The Traction Drive Subsystem (TDS) for the FCS program is a diesel series-hybrid drive system that will provide vehicle propulsion, steering and braking, and regenerate electrical power from braking and downhill grades for use in vehicle electrical systems.
The FCS Manned Ground Vehicles (MGV) family of eight vehicles is the first ever planned operational Army suite of ground combat vehicles to use hybrid-electric technology. The first application of the hybrid drive technology will be in the Non-Line-of-Sight Cannon (NLOS-C)—the lead FCS ground combat vehicle slated to begin initial production in 2008.
The NLOS-C, designed and built by BAE Systems—in partnership with General Dynamics Land Systems—is a fully automated, 155mm self-propelled diesel-electric howitzer. In 2006, BAE Systems awarded Saft a $2-million multi-year contract to design and supply lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery modules for the system. Saft is supplying its VL-V Li-ion battery technology featuring integrated battery monitoring and status electronics as well as what it called a breakthrough thermal management system. (Earlier post.)
The test was the first evaluation of the complete MGV hybrid electric system consisting of the engine, generator, generator dissipater controller, traction drive system, energy storage system, and cooling subsystem.
FCS is the US Army’s principle modernization program, which is made up of a family of manned and unmanned ground and air systems, and sensors connected by a common network. The hybrid electric drive is the cornerstone of integrated power management designed to meet the demands of future ground combat vehicles in a networked environment while allowing the tailoring of power and cooling dictated by the mission.
This system will be common to all FCS Manned Ground Vehicles which will require less fuel than current force vehicles and lower overall maintenance costs, and is further evidence that FCS technologies are on track and our team is ready to move into initial production in 2008.—Dennis Muilenburg, vice president-general manager, Boeing Combat Systems, and FCS program manager
Other advantages over currently fielded, conventional combat vehicle power train systems include:
Greatly increased power for integration of high efficiency electric drives, sensors, and computing systems;
Exportable electric power that reduces logistics burden for towed generators;
Enhanced low speed maneuverability;
Smaller overall vehicle profile for concealment;
Low acoustic signature and quiet ride;
Embedded diagnostics/prognostics permitting maintainers to directly determine the source of faults and advanced planning for unscheduled maintenance; and
Production of high amounts of electrical power—equivalent to the demand of 300 typical American homes and more than 10 times that provided by a current force vehicle. There is sufficient electric power to enable the use of future high power technologies.
In addition, the MGV design allows for future improvements by decoupling the power generation unit from the drive train architecture. The existing power generation unit can simply be replaced by a fuel cell, for example, once this technology has matured to further improve fuel consumption, acoustic signature, and mobility performance.
Creation of the hybrid electric drive system, led by BAE Systems, is a joint development with General Dynamics Land Systems in partnership with the Army and the FCS Lead Systems Integrator team of Boeing and Science Applications International Corp.
BAE’s HybriDrive series-hybrid system powers the Orion VII diesel-electric hybrid buses.