• Feb 27, 2012
New renderings and some specifications for the hybrid-electric U.S. Army tank that's been in the works for more than four years have been revealed.

BAE Systems, which demonstrated the first hybrid-drive ground-combat vehicle (GCV) in August 2007, says the tank is as much as 20 percent more fuel-efficient than conventional diesel-powered tanks and is quicker – relatively speaking, of course – off the line. The 70-ton tank has room for 12.

BAE, whose Michigan and California designers worked on the project, is developing the tank for the U.S. Army as part of what the military calls its Future Combat Systems (FCS) program. *UPDATE: This program was canceled by the United States Army in 2009. With hybrid powertrains, the Army is looking to use hybrid tanks as a way for fewer fueling supply lines – and fewer lives at risk as a result – to be required to keep the vehicles going. Since the average Army soldier uses 22 gallons of gasoline a day, the military has quite an incentive to reduce fuel usage.


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  • 31 Comments
      That Kid
      • 21 Hours Ago
      Part of me wants to say this is a good thing since the US military burns more fossil fuels than any other organization on Earth. The rest of me says its kind of unsettling, the idea that there are people who are trying to sustain our nation's military adventurism and policing of the world indefinitely. In the end it'll have to stop either way because these wars waste more resources than the people who instigate them can plunder. But this is a stop-gap that says to me the people in the military-industrial complex are not willing to part with their ability to wage large-scale mechanized warfare. Eesh.
      Ryan
      • 21 Hours Ago
      I am reminded of the movie Pentagon Wars when i see this... Netflix it if you haven't seen it... The military is ahead of me in the gas/oil line, so it will matter at some point in time if we face a reduced supply. But, there should be some other EV news.
      grandpa
      • 21 Hours Ago
      A couple of years ago I read about a battlefield robotic AI weapon that was being tested for use by the military. It was a self propelled automatic weapons platform powered by bio-mass which it accumulated on its own. Bio-mass being everything from plant to animal, inferring dead enemy troops. It sounded sci-fi but apparently was in a prototype testing stage. I wonder what happened to it or the idea. I guess it was as fantastic as the military giving up pilots and aviators in favor of drones.
        EZEE
        • 21 Hours Ago
        @grandpa
        As a former soldier (signal corps, so not trying to get any veteran kudos), that would be a bit unsettling. "The enemy you face is inhuman, and if he kills you, he will distill your body to make fuel to keep going, to kill more." Talk about your, "You will be assimilated..."
          marcopolo
          • 21 Hours Ago
          @EZEE
          @ As a former soldier ( Staff ) , the old adage, " It's not required to die for your country, it's only important to make the enemy die for his country..." struck me as the most valuable advice, apart from, "Never volunteer, under any circumstance!". Attractive as the idea of Hybrid Armoured vehicles may be, the PRC has been actively converting it's main armoured units to run on bio-fuel. This strategy has huge advantages for a military defending a vast nation with a huge population, against an enemy equipped with a superior air-force. The problems of battery storage, in combination with fuel, is a difficult problem for armoured vehicles. The strength and weakness of the US military, has always been it overwhelming dependence of expensive ordnance. On the other hand, only the US has such hugely expensive weapons and the logistic to deploy them adequately, thus sparing greater casualties.
      Timo
      • 21 Hours Ago
      @electronx16; that kind of tracked vehicle has a pretty complex system to control which track does how much work when turning, braking and accelerating . If I understood the concept of this "hybrid" is that they have changed all that to relatively simple two-motor serial hybrid with no direct connection from ICE to tracks. It probably really does reduce part count quite a bit, even total part count. There is no extremely complex gearing systems like in Volt or any other parallel hybrid civilian car.
      electronx16
      • 21 Hours Ago
      Maybe replacing the transmission with electric motors reduces the number of moving parts technically, overall part count is likely to increase dramatically though: "According to Axeon Power Director of Business Development North America Michael Muzzin, electric vehicles, such as the plug-in hybrid electric Chevrolet Volt, have more than 300 major components, compared to advanced gasoline engines, such as the Bugatti Veyron W16 Engine, that have around 100" From: http://www.mlive.com/auto/index.ssf/2012/02/officials_electric_vehicle_ado.html
      Richard Lam
      • 21 Hours Ago
      That's not an APC or a Tank. Its a IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle). I believe my coworker worked on this years ago on the primary drive train. Now he's working on real green vehicles that will actually benefit society.
      EZEE
      • 21 Hours Ago
      Maybe the fewer moving parts is not related to the hybrid drive, but just engineered in? I cannot imagine how, all things being equal, a vehicle with an extra drive would have fewer moving parts...?
      joeboarder108
      • 21 Hours Ago
      to reduce...?
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 21 Hours Ago
      Yay, army stuff. I can barely contain my excitement.
      Timo
      • 21 Hours Ago
      That's APC, not a tank. "relatively speaking" is relative to any civilian vehicle off-road. Those things can go *fast* if needed in places where no civilian car could go at all, and over 60mph on road, though that is mighty fast for something without wheels. Passengers turn green pretty fast too (heh heh ).
      DaveMart
      • 21 Hours Ago
      Thanks guys. It seems as though I am not the only one at a loss to understand what they are talking about here!
      schwy
      • 21 Hours Ago
      So .6 mpg to .72 mpg
        Danaon
        • 21 Hours Ago
        @schwy
        You say that like an improvement like that won't save a ton of fuel.
          schwy
          • 21 Hours Ago
          @Danaon
          Your right, it will. About every 1,200 miles it will save about a metric ton of diesel
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