MOD to trial hybrid technology on armoured vehicles

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A £3m investment from the MOD will see new hybrid powertrain technology tested on armoured vehicles operated by the British Army.

The contract - awarded through the Protected Mobility Engineering & Technical Support (PMETS) programme - will see hybrid systems fitted to the The Foxhound patrol vehicle - made by General Dynamics Land Systems–UK, and the Jackal 2 reconnaissance vehicle, which is produced by Devon-based company Supacat.

hybrid armoured vehicles
A Foxhound Light Protected Patrol Vehicle on operations in Afghanistan.

The so-called Technology Demonstrator 6 (TD6) project is being led by Coventry-based armour specialist NP Aerospace, and also involves UK electric drive specialist Magtec.

The application of hybrid-electric technology is expected to deliver a range of technical and operational enhancements including silent mobility; enhanced Silent Watch capabilities; Off-board electrical power; and increased onboard power for the insertion of the latest technologies. The introduction of hybrid technology will also ultimately reduce the army’s reliance on fossil fuels - a step towards the government’s 2050 net zero goal.

David Petheram, Chief Operating Officer, NP Aerospace, said: “The hybrid electric drive project is a significant development that will further extend the technical capabilities of the vehicles and is an important advancement in the incorporation of new technology. It will provide a greater understanding of what hybrid technology could achieve, whilst also looking to the future in terms of integrating additional sophisticated electronics across the PMETS vehicle fleet.”

Interview: Steve Austen- chief engineer, Supacat

Supacat CEO Nick Ames said: Following the work we have done with Exeter University on the All-Terrain Military Platform (ATMP) to give it electric drive and associated control, this piece of work is the natural follow on for us. We have the skills and knowledge to work with our project partners in making the well-respected Jackal vehicle "hybrid drive" and thereby offer enhanced silent watch, stealth operation and improved power export capabilities for soldiers and their equipment.

The initial work carried out through the project will be showcased at the Defence Vehicle Dynamics 20 event (DVD20) in November.