QinetiQ’s UK-developed ‘E-X-Drive’ will be used to adapt a U.S. Army Bradley Fighting Vehicle with a hybrid-electric drive, under a deal signed with BAE Systems.
E-X-Drive is an electro-mechanical transmission for tracked vehicle applications that QinetiQ first invented in 1998 and which has been subject to considerable investment from QinetiQ to generate unique intellectual property (IP). It forms part of a hybrid electric drive powertrain and is the future of electrified combat vehicles. The electric drive provides significantly enhanced capability through the provision of increased electrical power for other vehicle systems. It future proofs the platform in the context of a gasoline phase-out and the need to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, and it provides greater automotive and payload performance.
QinetiQ’s global team, working with BAE Systems as the prime contractor for the Bradley Hybrid Electric Vehicle (B-HEV) prototyping effort, will use an existing U.S. Army Bradley Fighting Vehicle as the testbed platform for integrating the QinetiQ-developed technology as part of the hybrid powertrain. QinetiQ and BAE Systems have a long-standing relationship in the development of vehicle hybrid electric drive technologies, so are perfectly suited to team up on this opportunity.
This contract is a demonstration of how QinetiQ can link its teams’ expertise around the world to deliver true Mission-Led Innovation and offer customers the chance to make considerable progress on creating, testing and using innovative new capabilities. Linking QinetiQ’s technical knowledge and IP with significant experience of working with the U.S. Army provides the opportunity to accelerate the modernisation of the US Army’s fleet.
“QinetiQ has a long history of pioneering hybrid electric technologies beginning at a point where the technology was way ahead of its time,” said Mike Sewart, CTO at QinetiQ. “As the world changes and key drivers emerge around sustainability and modernisation in militaries, we now see that the time is right for this technology to be exploited. This is why we have a collaborative team working hard on the route to market through engagements with several major transmission manufacturers and defence agencies worldwide. This programme sees a specific implementation of the technology for this particular Fighting Vehicle as a surrogate, but one of the unique aspects of the E-X-Drive is that its form is modular and can be adapted to fit platforms of all sizes. This unit is branded the “Modular – E-X-Drive (M-EXD)”. We see this project as the start of a much wider opportunity for the U.S. Army to experiment with hybrid electric drive across its fleet.”
The B-HEV announcement also demonstrates the way in which global defence forces are seeking new ways to meet not only modernisation, but sustainability challenges associated with conventional warfare. Due to the adaptability of the E-X Drive; it can be retrofitted to existing platforms, increasing their longevity and enabling new capabilities on-board.