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BAE Systems, QinetiQ to integrate hybrid electric drive into tracked combat vehicle

BAE Systems has been awarded a $32-million prototype agreement by the US Army’s Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO) to integrate a Hybrid Electric Drive (HED) system onto a Bradley Fighting Vehicle—a tracked vehicle. 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.


Hybrid Electric Drive systems improve automotive performance and provide drive-by-wire mobility to support autonomy, in addition to increasing power generation. (Photo: BAE Systems)

BAE Systems and teammate 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.


Bradley Fighting Vehicle

HED systems also improve automotive performance and provide drive-by-wire mobility to support autonomy in addition to increase 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.

QinetiQ is developing the electric cross drive transmission (Modular E-X-Drive), a key component of an HED system for a tracked combat vehicles. E-X-Drive combines electrical and mechanical components in a novel configuration that is efficiently packaged, incorporates mechanical regenerative transfer of steering power, range-shift mechanisms, and permanent magnet motor technology.

The QinetiQ Modular E-X-Drive has been tested and proven in a wide range of tracked vehicles and weight classes over the last decade.

The designs have completed extensive lab and vehicle tests, including safety certifications. BAE Systems and QinetiQ have a long-standing relationship in the development of vehicle HED technologies.

The engineering activities of the HED system will primarily occur at the BAE Systems’ Sterling Heights, Michigan, and San Jose, California, facilities. Build is planned to be completed at the BAE Systems’ Sterling Heights prototype shop.


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