A short history of the Army's Shadow RST-V

We have briefly mentioned the Marine Corps' deep strike, deep reconnaissance hybrid diesel-electric vehicle, the Shadow, in the past. The Shadow is a Reconnaissance, Surveillance, Targeting Vehicle (RST-V), created by General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS), and has been in development since GDLS was awarded Defense Advanced Research Agency (DARPA) and the Office of Naval Research (ONR) contracts for a new reconnaissance vehicle in 1997.

In 1999, the second phase of the Shadow RST-V program began with GDLS contracted to build four demonstrator vehicles. These were delivered in 2002 and were integrated with mission-specific equipment. Limited User Evaluation took place at the Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona in 2004. In 2005, GDLS was contracted to upgrade the RST-V with a 30kW export power capability generated by the vehicle's hybrid electric drive, designed to power battlefield loads such as the Unit Operations Center and radars. The vehicle was evaluated in an operational environment in early 2006. The Marine Corps and the Army have rigourous testing protocols to ensure that equipment can stand up to the heat of battle and won't let down their troops.

The Shadow RST-V is a 4x4 hybrid diesel-electric drive vehicle with reconnaissance, surveillance, targeting and C3I (command, control, communications and intelligence) capability coupled with integrated stealth and survivability features. It has significantly improved fuel economy and survivability.

At first glance fuel economy wouldn't seem to be a big issue for the U.S. armed forces, after all, if the price of fuel goes up, the armed forces don't have to worry about the bill. But in fact, fuel is a critic issue due to the fact that as Amory Lovins points out, about half the armed forces' money and around a third of their people are involved in logistics. And of that, 70 percent of the tonnage they move is fuel. Even a small increase in fuel economy can result in a big difference to the number of supply line convoys coming under fire.

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The Shadow RST-V has a diesel-electric hybrid drive system based on a front mounted turbocharged, intercooled common rail direct injection 153hp / 114kW diesel engine, which enables the vehicle to operate in stealth, hybrid and engine only modes. The diesel engine powers a 110kW permanent magnet generator that drives four wheel mounted 50kW permanent magnetic hub motors. The power generation system also includes twin SAFT Li-Ion battery packs with total rated output of 20kW hours and a peak power output of 80kW. In stealth mode the Shadow can be powered solely by the battery which provides a significant reduction in acoustic and thermal signatures.

The Shadow can reach speeds of 70mph / 112km/h on the road. When filled, the 25 gallon / 95L tank gives the Shadow a range of 471 miles / 758km at a speed of 31mph / 50km/hour, and 20 miles / 32km on battery power only.

[Source: Army Technology]

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