QinetiQ and AM General have have teamed up to fast-track the development of electrification technologies for military vehicles.
The partnership has begun with the development of a hybrid concept of the high-mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicle, more commonly known as the Humvee.
The companies said the goal was to demonstrate the viability of electrifying military land vehicles to deliver enhanced performance while decarbonizing military operations.
They did not detail whether the project has a particular customer in mind, but the US Army is currently evaluating the possibility of buying an “electric light reconnaissance vehicles (eLRV),” and has even completed an industry demonstration.
Qinetiq and AM General said the Humvee vehicle concept is the first step of a “highly ambitious program in which they are exploring how electrification can transform competitive advantage in the land domain.”
This collaboration is expected to lay the foundation for further research into electrification capabilities for land vehicles, for example autonomous systems, increased situational awareness through enhanced sensor capability and optical communications.
Qinetiq added that the project did not deliver a physical prototype model due to the pandemic, but the dup created two fully interactive and immersive virtual reality models of Humvees showing how QinetiQ’s electric drive technology is integrated with minimal disruption to the vehicle.
The two different models can be individually adapted and then compared side by side to immediately see the impact of the changes made, the company said. The motors draw power via cables from a battery which can be positioned almost anywhere within the vehicle to give ultimate flexibility over the use of space. The hybrid electric drive system will enable the vehicles to tackle more hostile terrains, while increasing lethality by giving it the ability to conduct extended periods of silent watch and silent running. This includes minimizing the vehicle’s acoustic and thermal signatures.
“Advances in hybrid electric drive systems specifically for military vehicles mean there is now a credible alternative to conventional mechanical designs,” Mike Sewart, QinetiQ CTO, said.
“This collaboration is a critical step for driving defense into a new age of sustainable, more versatile land combat vehicles, capable of tackling complex threats whilst minimizing the impact on the environment.”
“Integrating electric drive technology into the HMMWV is an exciting first step in how we expect to deliver on the battlefields of the future. By working with QinetiQ, we’re looking at innovative ways to meet the future requirements of our customers around the world, for sustainability and performance through electrification,” Regis Luther, senior vice president engineering and CTO at AM General, said.