US Army advances first hybrid electric Bradley
Designed to transport infantry troops, the Bradley Fighting Vehicle is known for its survivability, mobility and lethality.
Now he can add hybrid electrification to his attributes.
In a first, the Army turned on its newly integrated hybrid electric Bradley during a demonstration on January 28, 2022, marking a major milestone in a rapid prototyping effort. The integrated hybrid electric system will be used to demonstrate that widely available commercial hybrid technology could also benefit the military.
The effort, led by the Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office, or RCCTO, will help inform future hybrid electric technologies, proving the effectiveness of the Bradley Hybrid Electric Vehicle, and will give senior Army leaders a point of view. decision on whether to move or not cheeky.
“The BHEV prototype truly has the potential to improve the way our soldiers execute their missions while providing the military with a cost-effective advantage on the battlefield,” said RCCTO Deputy Director Stanley Darbro. “We are executing this approach through a 24-month rapid prototyping effort in the expectation that it will provide proven increased operational capability for Army-wide application.”
This rapid prototyping effort is being made under a Prototype Other Transaction Authority agreement with BAE Systems to deliver two Bradley vehicles equipped with hybrid electric technology. The BHEV consists of an upgraded engine, a transmission replaced with an electric drive motor, and the addition of lithium-ion batteries.
During the demonstration, held at BAE Systems’ Sterling Heights facility, engineers demonstrated the BHEV’s ability to power and control systems critical to successful hybrid electric operations. These activities allow BAE Systems to methodically assess each subsystem to ensure correct and safe operation before integrating the next subsystem.
Beginning in June, Bradley vehicles will undergo evaluations at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, where they will be driven over rough terrain to measure performance. Then, later this year, both Bradley vehicles will be at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, for additional field evaluations and to compare performance data between the two vehicles, and versus non-hybrid Bradley electric vehicles.
Expected benefits of the system include increased on-board power, mobility, lethality options, and range. Hybrid technology allows for improved fuel economy and increased range, as well as improved performance without additional size, weight and power requirements. The military predicts a 20% reduction in fuel consumption, and with fewer parts, vehicles with hybrid electric drive technology should be easier to maintain.
“There’s also the added benefit of silent monitoring,” said Mike Foster, RCCTO’s Rapid Acquisition Prototyping Project Office Manager. “It provides reduced heat signature and sound. Our performance goals are to increase acceleration, electrical power output and increase range.
In addition to the BHEV, the RCCTO is expanding its efforts beyond the Bradley to include prototyping Hybrid Electric Joint Light Tactical Vehicles and HMMWVs. Contract awards are expected in February for HMMWV and March for JLTV.