Cummins has been awarded a $47.4 million contract from the National Advanced Mobility Consortium (NAMC) to develop and demonstrate a technologically advanced engine for the next generation of US combat vehicles. The Advanced Combat Engine (ACE) project, led by Cummins Corporate Research and Technology and supported by Achates Power—the developer of next-generation two-stroke compression-ignition opposed-piston engines (earlier post)—aligns well with the research and development work of the US Army’s Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC).
The goal of the project is to improve significantly the performance, survivability, and range of ground combat vehicles while reducing fleet fuel use. Cummins and Achates plan to reach these goals by reducing heat rejection by 21% compared to current Cummins-supplied combat vehicle engines. In addition, the project wants to improve power density by more than 50%, and reduce fuel use by 13% compared to current typical combat vehicle engines.
This award builds upon 14 years of extensive development by Achates Power to modernize and optimize the opposed-piston engine. We are pleased to support Cummins on the Multi-Cylinder Advanced Combat Engine Technology Demonstrator program with our strengths in opposed-piston engine technology to deliver a superior engine for combat and tactical vehicles for the US Army.—David Johnson, CEO, Achates Power
In March 2015, NAMC awarded Achates a $14-million project to support research and development work on the Single Cylinder Advanced Combat Engine Technology Demonstrator. Achates partnered with Cummins Inc. for that project, a precursor to the new award. (Earlier post.)
The combat engine is a key part of the Army’s 30-year strategy to modernize tactical and combat vehicles, with potential for future configurations being used in the Bradley family of vehicles and the Next Generation Combat Vehicle.