AHED 8x8 Completes FRES Second Phase of Trials

Released on Tuesday, April 4, 2006
United Kingdom
AHED - Advanced Hybrid Electric Drive
CC - Chassis Concept
FRES - Future Rapid Effect System
km - kilometre
kW - kiloWatt
MoD - Ministry of Defence
TDP - Technology Demonstrator Programme
UK - United Kingdom
General Dynamics United Kingdom Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics, reports that its Advanced Hybrid Electric Drive (AHED) 8x8 wheeled test-bed demonstrator has successfully completed extended running trials in an 18 ton configuration. This is the second of three extended running trials. General Dynamics United Kingdom Limited, in association with General Dynamics Land Systems, was awarded a contract by Atkins Limited, the FRES Systems House (SH), in August 2005, for the Future Rapid Effect System (FRES) Chassis Concept (CC) Technology Demonstration Programme (TDP). FRES CC TDP is an 18-month programme to demonstrate the readiness of electric drive technology, and to enable the SH and MoD to better understand the challenges of integrating potential electronic architecture solutions onto a vehicle chassis.

The General Dynamics' AHED 8x8 wheeled vehicle incorporates in-hub electric drive and hybrid power, two key enabling technologies with the potential to transform the design of future armoured fighting vehicles. In five months of testing the AHED has demonstrated exceptional performance and reliability, in both 16 and 18 US ton configurations. In the course of the TDP, the AHED has recorded more than 3,600 km of cross-country and road running with an availability of over 90 percent. The in-hub electric drive has proved to be reliable across challenging terrain, in demanding weather conditions and over a range of operational mission profiles.

With over 350 kW from the hybrid power source and independent traction control in each wheel station, the AHED can operate in terrain that would defeat conventional wheeled vehicles. It gives the AHED cross-country performance that is similar to that of a tracked vehicle, but with the speed of deployment, and economy, of a wheeled vehicle. This capability offers enormous potential for enhanced survivability and increased tempo in combat.

The AHED is now being configured to 20 US tons for additional extended running and mobility trials, scheduled to begin shortly. Once this trial is completed, General Dynamics working with Team ISIS (the Consortium leading one of two FRES Electronic Architecture TDP's) will integrate an electronic architecture into the AHED for demonstration at the UK's Armoured Trials and Development Unit during the second half of this year.

As part of the FRES CC TDP, General Dynamics recently provided vehicle concepts and analysis of the utility of an AHED-based platform across a range of FRES combat roles.


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