June 7th 2006 - AHED 8x8 Completes Third Major Phase of UK FRES Technology Demonstration Programme
LONDON, United Kingdom – General Dynamics United Kingdom, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), reports that its Advanced Hybrid Electric Drive (AHED) 8x8 wheeled test-bed demonstrator has successfully completed its extended running and mobility trials in a 20-ton configuration. This was the final stage of testing before the AHED 8x8 is shipped to the UK for integration of an electronic architecture suite and additional trials at the Armour Trials and Development Unit later this year.
General Dynamics UK, 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 for integration into a common FRES platform.
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 nine months of testing the AHED has demonstrated exceptional performance and reliability in 16, 18 and 20 US ton configurations. In the course of the TDP, the AHED has recorded more than 5,100 km of cross-country and road running with an availability of over 90 percent.
The AHED 8x8 has the performance of a tracked vehicle with the whole life cost and deployability of a wheeled vehicle. The in-hub electric drive has proved to be reliable in challenging terrain, demanding weather conditions and 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 8x8 can operate in terrain that would stymie conventional wheeled vehicles. In addition, the vehicle is specifically designed to demonstrate the ability of vehicle component commonality to reduce part counts and enable ease of maintenance. These features help minimize the logistics footprint and whole life costs.
As part of the FRES CC TDP, General Dynamics is also conducting survivability and scalability studies. Live fire trials have demonstrated that the electric drive and supporting subsystems are highly resilient in mine blast and shock environments. These trials are validating that key survivability capabilities are achievable with the AHED 8x8 design approach. “With the scalability studies, we’re using models and vehicle test results to evaluate the e-drive’s ability to support a 25-30 ton chassis,” reports Bill Riker, Director of Advanced Programmes for General Dynamics Land Systems. “We’ve found that this can be done without losing any of the vehicle’s agility or growth capability. The result is a vehicle that gives the soldier operational advantage by enhancing mobility, survivability and maintainability.”
General Dynamics United Kingdom Limited, headquartered in London, is a prime contractor and complex systems integration company specialising in military communications, battlespace, and mission and information management systems for safety and mission-critical applications. General Dynamics UK is structured around three main businesses: Mission Systems, Network Solutions, and BOWMAN. It has been active in the UK since 1962 and now employs over 1500 highly skilled staff at eight locations across the UK including Oakdale and Newbridge in South Wales, and Hastings in South East England.
General Dynamics, headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, employs approximately 72,700 people worldwide and had 2005 revenue of $21.2 billion. The company is a market leader in mission-critical information systems and technologies; land and expeditionary combat systems, armaments and munitions; shipbuilding and marine systems; and business aviation. More information can be found online at www.generaldynamics.com .Back to News Index