General Dynamics uses hybrid electric drive for British vehicles

LONDON, 24 August 2005. General Dynamics United Kingdom Ltd. has signed a contract with Atkins, the U.K. Ministry of Defence's System House, for the Future Rapid Effect System (FRES) Chassis Concept (CC) Technology Demonstration Programme (TDP).

LONDON, 24 August 2005. General Dynamics United Kingdom Ltd. has signed a contract with Atkins, the U.K. Ministry of Defence's System House, for the Future Rapid Effect System (FRES) Chassis Concept (CC) Technology Demonstration Programme (TDP).

FRES CC TDP is an 18-month program to demonstrate the readiness of in-hub electric-drive and its ability to meet the FRES platform requirements, as well as the integration of a third party Electronic Architecture (EA) into the chassis.

It is also an opportunity for the team to demonstrate its ability to work with Atkins in meeting the program's timeline and information requirements for Main Gate approval.

The General Dynamics UK FRES industry team comprises General Dynamics UK Ltd. (project lead), and General Dynamics Land Systems, Sterling Heights, Mich.

General Dynamics' Advanced Hybrid Electric Drive (AHED) 8x8 will provide a baseline from which to evaluate the integration challenges and potential benefits of transformational technologies for the Future Rapid Effect System programme. Developed by General Dynamics, the AHED already has over 4200 km of road and cross-country testing. General Dynamics intends to conduct over 4500 km of additional reliability testing for the FRES CC TDP.

Its interchangeable modular in-hub electric drive, and hybrid power architecture will dramatically reduce logistics footprint and whole life cost of ownership associated with unique components, large repair part inventory and training for both operators and maintenance personnel.

"We are delighted to have won a FRES Chassis Concept TDP contract," said Sandy Wilson, president and managing director of General Dynamics UK Limited. "AHED provides a 'best value' point of departure for designing a FRES family of vehicles that is based on a common chassis and sub-systems for a family of vehicles fleet. The design flexibility enabled by the open architecture and on-board power provide a platform that can be adapted to the FRES roles in a variety of configurations, depending on the mission or requirement profile.

"Our target is to deliver demonstrable evidence to our customer that in-hub electric-drive is mature enough to meet the FRES requirement and that the hybrid power architecture can be successfully integrated with an open standards electronic architecture. Further, this is an excellent opportunity for the customer to evaluate the transformational benefits of a hybrid-electric drive that offers track-like performance at wheeled vehicle costs, which has the capability to quickly balance or shift power to mission systems that may have different requirements based on mission profile. This optimizes performance for fuel efficiency, and removes traditional armored fighting-vehicle drive line constraints, which will significantly reduce the whole-life cost of ownership," Wilson said.

General Dynamics, headquartered in Falls Church, Va., employs approximately 70,800 people worldwide and had 2004 revenue of $19.2 billion. The company is a market leader in mission-critical information systems and technologies; land and expeditionary combat systems, armaments and munitions; shipbuilding and marine systems; and business aviation. For more information, see www.generaldynamics.com.

General Dynamics United Kingdom Ltd., headquartered in London, is a prime contractor and complex systems integration company specializing in military communications, battlespace, and mission and information management systems for safety and mission-critical applications. General Dynamics UK is structured around three main businesses: Mission Systems, Network Solutions, and BOWMAN. It has been active in the UK since 1962 and now employs over 1,200 highly skilled staff at eight locations across the UK including Oakdale in South Wales, and Hastings in South East England.

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