Metro Detroit Defense Business to Electrify U.S. Army Combat Vehicle Prototype

A defense contractor in Sterling Heights has been awarded a multi-million-dollar U.S. Army prototype contract to integrate a hybrid electric drive onto a Bradley fighting vehicle.
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BAE hybrid electric drive system
Hybrid Electric Drive systems improve automotive performance and provide drive-by-wire mobility to support autonomy, in addition to increasing power generation. // Photo courtesy of BAE Systems

A defense contractor in Sterling Heights has been awarded a multi-million-dollar U.S. Army prototype contract to integrate a hybrid electric drive onto a Bradley fighting vehicle.

The U.S. Army’s Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office has awarded BAE Systems a $32 million contract to develop a prototype for a hybrid electric Bradley fighting vehicle.

The 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.

Starting this summer, BAE Systems and partner QinetiQ in Massachusetts will use an existing Bradley fighting vehicle as the testbed for integrating the HED technology.

“Integrating a Hybrid electric drive system into combat vehicles vastly increases on-board power and provides a significant increase in mobility, lethality options, and range, all of which enable overmatching operational capabilities,” says Scott Davis, vice president of BAE Systems’ ground vehicles product line.

“BAE Systems has invested and collaborated with industry for more than 40 years to advance HED technology and develop vehicle architectures and demonstrators. A systems approach to vehicle electrification enables break-through capabilities in the current and future platforms our warfighters need to maintain battlefield superiority.”

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

The engineering activities of the HED system primarily will occur at the BAE Systems’ Sterling Heights, and San Jose, Calif. facilities. The build is expected to be completed at the BAE prototype shop in Sterling Heights.

QinetiQ is developing the electric cross drive transmission, a key component of an HED system for a tracked combat vehicle.

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