New Industry Products

BAE Systems Unveils Hybrid Electric Drive System for Future Combat Systems

August 15, 2007 by Jeff Shepard

BAE Systems demonstrated what is claimed to be the first hybrid electric drive system for ground combat vehicles as part of the U.S. Army’s Future Combat Systems (FCS) program. Creation of the hybrid electric drive system, led by BAE Systems, is a joint development with General Dynamics Land Systems in partnership with the Army and the FCS Lead Systems Integrator team of Boeing and Science Applications International Corp.

The FCS Manned Ground Vehicles (MGV) family of eight vehicles is the first ever planned operational Army suite of ground combat vehicles to use hybrid electric technology. The first use of the hybrid electric drive technology will be in the Non-Line-of-Sight Cannon (NLOS-C) – the lead FCS ground combat vehicle slated to begin initial production in 2008. The NLOS-C, designed and built by BAE Systems – in partnership with General Dynamics Land Systems – is a fully automated, 155mm self-propelled howitzer. FCS is the U.S. Army’s principle modernization program, which is made up of a family of manned and unmanned ground and air systems, and sensors connected by a common network.

"The integration of this fuel-saving, hybrid electric propulsion system is another illustration of the benefits of the partnership between the FCS ’best of industry’ team and the U.S. Army to accelerate the development and delivery of next generation technologies to our nation’s soldiers," said Dennis Muilenburg, Vice President-General Manager, Boeing Combat Systems, and FCS program manager. "This system will be common to all FCS Manned Ground Vehicles which will require less fuel than current force vehicles and lower overall maintenance costs, and is further evidence that FCS technologies are on track and our team is ready to move into initial production in 2008."

The MGV design allows for future improvements by decoupling the power generation unit from the drive train architecture. The existing power generation unit can simply be replaced by a fuel cell, for example, once this technology has matured to further improve fuel consumption, acoustic signature, and mobility performance.