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US, UK to Develop Electric Drive System for Military Vehicles

British technology firm QinetiQ has forged a partnership with American automotive manufacturer AM General to develop a hybrid electric drive system to be integrated into the high-mobility, multipurpose Humvee military vehicle.

According to the two companies, the partnership will explore various electrification technologies that can be utilized by land-based military vehicles. It will also seek improved performance and to decarbonize military operations.

To aid in the development phase of the project, QinetiQ and AM General have created two fully interactive virtual reality Humvee models. They will be used to depict how electric drive technology can be combined with an automotive system with minimal disruption.

QinetiQ chief technology officer Mike Sewart explained that the current advances in electric drive systems prove that there is a “credible alternative” to conventional mechanical military vehicle design. He stated that developing an electrification system could revolutionize how the army operates on the battlefield.

“This collaboration is a critical step for driving defence into a new age of sustainable, more versatile land combat vehicles, capable of tackling complex threats whilst minimizing the impact on the environment,” Sewart said in a press release.

‘Increasing Lethality’

Integrating a hybrid electric drive system into the Humvee will reportedly enable it to tackle more hostile terrain while increasing lethality and minimizing the vehicles’ acoustic and thermal signatures.

The technology would also require up to 30 percent less fuel consumption, reduce vehicle emissions and extend operational range.

AM General senior vice president Regis Luther said that electrifying the Humvee is an exciting first step in delivering improved capabilities to the armed forces for future battlefields.

“By working with QinetiQ, we’re looking at innovative ways to meet the future requirements of our customers around the world, for sustainability and performance through electrification,” he remarked.

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