NP Aerospace has been awarded a £3m contract by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) to demonstrate hybrid electric-drive systems on its Foxhound and Jackal vehicles. The project will be delivered in collaboration with General Dynamics, Supacat and Magtec.
The contract forms part of the Protected Mobility Engineering & Technical Support (PMETS) programme, which is being led by Coventry-based NP Aerospace as the engineering authority for the vehicle fleet. General Dynamics Land Systems–UK and Supacat are the partner vehicle OEMs, and Magtec is the electric drive and battery technology partner. Developed by Magtec in the UK, the hybrid electric e-drive solution for Foxhound and Jackal is intended to deliver multiple technical and operational enhancements, including:
• Silent mobility;
• enhanced silent watch capabilities;
• off-board electrical power, and;
• increased onboard power for the insertion of the latest technologies.
This is the first time that this type of technology system has been applied to vehicles covered under the PMETS programme. The production of demonstrator vehicles will enable the MoD to analyse the operational impact of new technical capabilities.
David Petheram, chief operating officer, NP Aerospace, said: “The PMETS programme delivers safety, efficiency and innovation activities across a variety of vehicle platforms, via a collaborative approach. The hybrid electric drive project is a significant development that will further extend the technical capabilities of the vehicles and is an important advancement in the incorporation of new technology. It will provide a greater understanding of what hybrid technology could achieve, whilst also looking to the future in terms of integrating additional sophisticated electronics across the PMETS vehicle fleet.”
Andrew Gilligan, managing director, Magtec, added: “Magtec is a UK leader in the design and manufacture of electric vehicle drive systems and is proud to be supporting the British Army in the development of new technology to protect British troops when they are on the move. Magtec has a strong track record in delivering drive systems for the most demanding applications. We are creating high-quality engineering jobs in the North of England and strengthening the UK’s position at the forefront of the global transport sector.” Carew Wilks, vice president and general manager of General Dynamics Land Systems–UK, said: “As technology develops to meet the future operating needs of the British Army, the demand for onboard power only increases, and electrification of land vehicles offers an innovative solution. Foxhound, the British Army light infantry vehicle of choice, already has an architecture that enables electrification and is a natural choice for this demonstrator. We look forward to demonstrating our e-drive Foxhound in the coming months.”
Nick Ames, chief executive of Supacat parent company, SC Group, concluded: “Following the work we have done with Exeter University on the All-Terrain Military Platform (ATMP) to give it electric drive and associated control, this piece of work is the natural follow on for us. We have the skills and knowledge to work with our project partners in making the well-respected Jackal vehicle “hybrid drive” and thereby offer enhanced silent watch, stealth operation and improved power export capabilities for soldiers and their equipment.”