Unique Mobility Technology Used In Army Crusader Howitzer

December 03, 2000 by Jeff Shepard

Unique Mobility Inc. (UQM, Golden, CO) announced today that its proprietary power electronics play a critical role in two subsystems on the Army's Crusader 155mm self-propelled howitzer currently under development. UQM has teamed with Barber-Nichols Inc. (Arvada, CO), and MPC Products Corp. (Skokie, Il), to provide subsystems to the program. One UQM electronic controller drives the pump motor providing coolant to the gun tube and the second drives the cooling fan motor. In recent testing, the Crusader fired at a rate of six rounds per minute, making it the world's fastest automated howitzer.

The Crusader has been undergoing testing at the Yuma Proving Grounds to

validate the reliability of the armament and ammunition subsystems and

demonstrate gun tube life at high rates of fire. The Crusader is expected to achieve a firing rate of ten rounds per minute this fall.

“This is the first time in history that an artillery system has

demonstrated fully automated ammunition loading, pointing and firing,"

stated Ted Kuriata, Crusader's Technical Director. At rates of fire of ten rounds per minute, the Crusader can fire the equivalent weight of an automobile in ordnance, at a target 25 miles away, every minute.

William G. Rankin, Unique's President and Chief Executive Officer said,

“Unique is best known for its advanced motor technology, but the same

advantages apply to its electronic controls. The power electronics we have developed to control our UQM propulsion systems are very sophisticated, providing microprocessor-based millisecond response times, controller area network compatibility and the ability to manage high power and high voltage efficiently in a compact package. The operating environment for electronics on the Crusader howitzer is as harsh as it gets and we are delighted that the Army has chosen to use our controls in this demanding application."