General Dynamics will upgrade Marines' RST vehicle

STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich., 20 May 2005. General Dynamics Land Systems has received a $5.9 million agreement modification to upgrade its Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Targeting Vehicle (RST-V).

May 20th, 2005

STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich., 20 May 2005. General Dynamics Land Systems has received a $5.9 million agreement modification to upgrade its Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Targeting Vehicle (RST-V).

The upgrade supports continued operational evaluation of the vehicle as a utility carrier, prime mover, and electrical generator for various U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) applications. System capabilities will be demonstrated in a relevant operational environment in early 2006.

The original RST-V program objectives seek to exploit hybrid electric drive technology with innovations in electric-wheel motor drive, chassis design, power management and a patented folding suspension to provide a highly mobile, survivable, long-range reconnaissance vehicle that can be transported inside a V-22 Osprey. In transport mode, the RST-V is narrower than a jeep and has cargo capacity comparable to a HMMWV.

The RST-V's hybrid electric drive can provide on-board power generation as a battlefield power source. This system could complement or replace trailer and packaged power generators in many applications, thus improving deployability and reducing the footprint of USMC expeditionary and Joint Forces operations.

The vehicle's hybrid power system is designed to provide modular, flexible options. It allows the vehicle to be operated in several propulsion modes: battery, diesel electric, or hybrid. The system can be adapted to use a full spectrum of energy storage options, from a base diesel electric with no energy store, to ultra capacitors, to any battery chemistry. Previous USMC RST-V operational evaluations demonstrated the system's significant potential and utility to provide or support command and control on the move by using exportable power generated by its hybrid electric propulsion system.

"The Marine Corps has asked us to make reliability and functional changes to the vehicle, including a 30 kilowatt export power capability, to power battlefield loads such as the Unit Operations Center and radars," said General Dynamics Land Systems Advanced Programs Manager Tom Trzaska.

"The Marine Corps expressed interest in the potential the RST-Vs demonstrated during a recent Limited User Evaluation at Yuma Proving Ground, Ariz., and want to take these technologies to the next step. We will make improvements based on feedback and lessons learned from the USMC and the U.S. Army Special Operations command operators who used the RST-Vs at Yuma," Trzaska explained. "The implementation of the export power feature rounds out the full suite of capabilities we originally envisioned for the hybrid power system."

General Dynamics Land Systems is a pioneer in electric propulsion for military application, and has partnered with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Office of Naval Research and the USMC on the RST-V program since 1999. In this latest round of funding, DARPA contributed $5 million of the total $5.9 million.

General Dynamics, headquartered in Falls Church, Va., employs approximately 70,100 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.

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