£3 Million for Prototyping and Evaluating Solutions for FOXHOUND and JACKAL 2
New hybrid technology is being tested on the British Army’s FOXHOUND and JACKAL 2 vehicles following a £3 million (€3.3 million) investment by the MoD, the Ministry announced on 20 August.
Offering improved silent mobility, hybrid and electric drive systems will provide sustainability benefits and deliver potential military advantages, reducing noise and increasing stealth capability. Electric systems will also provide game-changing power off-board, while increased power onboard will allow the vehicles to operate the latest technologies.
The innovative hybrid electric-drive system will be developed by NP Aerospace, working in collaboration with General Dynamics UK, Supacat and Magtec to create prototypes of both vehicles to test the new technology. Developed by Magtec, the hybrid electric e-drive solution for FOXHOUND and JACKAL is intended to deliver multiple technical and operational enhancements, including (but not limited to);
• Silent mobility;
• Enhanced silent watch capabilities;
• Off-board electrical power;
• Increased onboard power for insertion of the latest technologies.
This is the first time this type of technology has been applied to vehicles covered under the PMETS programme. The production of demonstrator vehicles will enable the MoD to analyse the operational impact of new technical capabilities.
“These tests will ensure our armed forces have the latest, safest and most efficient technology, while continuing to support prosperity across the UK. They represent a potential opportunity to improve our vehicles sustainability and military effectiveness,” commented Defence Minister Jeremy Quin.
Alongside delivering multiple technical and operational enhancements, the introduction of hybrid technology will ultimately reduce the Army’s reliance on fossil fuels – a step towards the government’s 2050 net zero goal. Adopting greener technology in the MoD’s equipment fleet is part of the department’s strategy to reduce its contributions to carbon and greenhouse gas emissions. Measures like this will be reflected in the department’s ongoing Climate Change and Sustainability Review, led by Lt Gen Richard Nugee. “It is great to see the Army testing electric vehicles [which] goes to show how seriously we are incorporating sustainability into our operations, while simultaneously pushing the boundaries of military innovation,” the General stated. The review will focus on a range of initiatives from the MoD’s NZ50 strategy to setting the right baseline for departmental emissions and carbon footprint, with findings set to be published in December 2020.
This next-generation army vehicle technology is being tested under the Protected Mobility Engineering & Technical Support (PMETS) programme, which is ensuring that the UK’s cutting-edge fleet of 2,200 armoured vehicles are continuously updated and upgraded. The £63 million PMETS contract was awarded to NP Aerospace last year and will support 100 jobs in Coventry and 250 jobs across the UK supply chain until 2024.
The hybrid electric drives project is designated Technology Demonstrator 6 (TD6), which sees the Army prototype hybrid drives and assess the benefits. The initial stage of TD6 is expected to be showcased at the Defence Vehicle Dynamics 20 (DVD20) event in November.