Piedrafita, Moog Develop Armored Vehicle Test Rig for EU

Precision control firm Moog has partnered with Spanish mobility solutions provider Piedrafita to develop an armored vehicle test rig for the European Defence Industrial Development Programme.

The project aims to produce an advanced hydropneumatic rotary suspension for existing and future armored systems across EU forces without the need for further modifications.

Under the collaboration, the companies leveraged technology that relays up to 500 kilonewtons (500,000 joules per meter) of force at 8 meters per second and up to 200 Hertz.

It incorporates hydraulic actuators with digital servo valves, a test controller, power cabinet, digital pumps, and an accumulator bench with piping.

Throughout the platform’s development, Moog trained Piedrafita specialists to operate the testing solution.

Its design is based on a 2012 project with Moog that produced a fatigue test bench for shock absorber production. The technology was capable of up to 80 kilonewtons (80,000 joules per meter) at a velocity of 4.4 meters per second.

“Working with Piedrafita, our engineers designed the new test bench with a high-performance controller and customized actuators reproducing vibration up to 100 g,” Moog Chief Engineer Ian Whiting stated.

“It’s an example of how we innovate with our customers to design and manufacture the most advanced motion control systems for incredibly demanding applications.”

German Leopard 2 A7V main battle tanks.
German Leopard 2 A7V main battle tanks. Photo: Marco Dorow/Bundeswehr

Testing for 70-ton Vehicles

The testing rig replicates the movement of an armored vehicle on a wave-like terrain.

Vibrations recorded from this simulation are critical to assess the resistance and related capabilities of shock absorbers and suspension during combat, the companies noted.

“Our new test system is capable of carrying out tests for 70-ton (70,000-kilogram) tracked vehicles, with a weight of around 5.5 tons per wheel,” Piedrafita Communications and Marketing Head Vanesa Recio explained.

“Our engineers can test wheel stations under very demanding profiles for main battle tanks such as the Abrams, Challenger, Leclerc, and Leopard.”

“The high-performance test bench minimizes costs and enables tests in a controlled manner rather than driving over a proving ground, thereby protecting a crew who would otherwise have to be on board a vehicle.”

“Manufacturers such as General Dynamics and KNDS can also test their vehicles’ suspension on our new test system.”

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