STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich., 26 Aug. 2005. The Office of Naval Research has competitively selected General Dynamics Land Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics, for the first phase of a development effort for an on-board electric-power generation and distribution capability for the U.S. Marine Corps' High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, or HMMWV.
The effort's overall goals are to increase the amount of electricity available on vehicles and reduce the mobility and payload burdens created by towed generators. General Dynamics Land Systems was awarded one of two contracts to conduct trade studies and submit a preliminary concept design; the award to General Dynamics was valued at $268,000. At the conclusion of phase I, the government will select one technical solution and will proceed to the detailed design, fabrication, and testing phases. The total of the effort -- all phases, all contracts -- is approximately $10.5 million, and will conclude in late 2007.
Tom Trzaska, General Dynamics Land Systems Advanced Programs manager, explains that generating electricity on-board vehicles is a battlefield alternative to towed generators. A vehicle's engine serves as the primary power source for mobility and power generation. The Marine Corps seeks to employ increasing amounts of electronic equipment to accomplish its mission, and this equipment demands increasing amounts of quality, field-deployable electric power.
"Systems generating this power must rapidly deploy in a variety of climates, terrains, altitudes, corrosive environments and temperatures," Trzaska says. "We can decrease the need to tow trailer-mounted generator sets by integrating an on-board vehicle power system, so we envision it will significantly enhance the Marine Corps' warfighting capability by decreasing the expeditionary footprint and making electrical power-producing assets significantly more mobile."
Phase I begins immediately and will last approximately six months. Existing General Dynamics employees in Muskegon, Mich., and Westminster, Md., will perform the work.
For more information see www.generaldynamics.com.