British company QinetiQ and automotive manufacturer AM General have signed an agreement to accelerate the development of electrification technologies for military vehicles including the HUMVEE.
The partnership has begun with the development of a hybrid concept of the globally iconic HMMWV (High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle often referred to as ‘HUMVEE’) – demonstrating the viability of electrifying military land vehicles to deliver enhanced performance while decarbonising military operations. The collaboration was initiated and its development facilitated by the JV & Partnering (JV&P) Advisory team at Lincoln International, a global investment bank, the company said in a recent press release.
The HUMVEE vehicle concept is the first step of a programme in which QinetiQ and AM General are exploring how electrification can transform competitive advantage in the land domain. This collaboration will lay the foundation for further research into electrification capabilities for land vehicles, for example autonomous systems, increased situational awareness through enhanced sensor capability and optical communications.
The new collaboration recognises the need for countermeasures, platforms and situational awareness tools to evolve at an astounding pace in response to changing threats and tactics from adversaries. In addition to this, the growing financial, environmental and human costs of transporting and burning fossil fuels – as well as the critical push towards Net Zero – are forcing governments to seek more sustainable energy sources that create smaller logistical and carbon footprints.
By using existing collaboration tools, the joint team have created two fully interactive and immersive Virtual Reality models of HUMVEE vehicles showing how QinetiQ’s electric drive technology is integrated with minimal disruption to the vehicle. The two different models can be individually adapted and then compared side by side to immediately see the impact of the changes made. The motors draw power via cables from a battery which can be positioned almost anywhere within the vehicle to give ultimate flexibility over the use of space. The hybrid electric drive system will enable the vehicles to tackle more hostile terrains, while increasing lethality by giving it the ability to conduct extended periods of silent watch and silent running. This includes minimising the vehicle’s acoustic and thermal signatures.
Critically, as the defense industry must accelerate towards Net Zero, QinetiQ’s hybrid electric drive system also provides up to 30% less fuel consumption than purely combustion-powered alternatives, reducing fossil fuel dependency and decreasing emissions on the battlefield. This improved fuel efficiency will also extend the vehicle’s operational range.