QinetiQ is to develop an electric hub-drive to improve survivability and mobility of future military ground vehicles for the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
The contract, worth $1.5m with an option for a further $2.7m, is part of DARPA’s Ground X-Vehicle Technologies (GXV-T) program. Under this program, participants will investigate technologies that could help to significantly improve capability in the next generation of vehicles.
QinetiQ’s hub-drive seeks to improve mobility through enhanced power, torque, integral braking and high efficiency, in a unit that can be contained within a 20” wheel rim. It aims to increase survivability by removing drive shafts and gearboxes, which can become lethal to occupants in the event of an IED detonation beneath the vehicle. The absence of these components could also reduce weight and open up future design possibilities, such as fully independent suspension with significantly increased travel.
Dr David Moore, Director of Research Services at QinetiQ, said: “Like cavalry horses throughout history, vehicles risk becoming less mobile as they are loaded with more Armour and weaponry to meet the evolving demands of warfare. Our hub-drive tackles that threat by combining optimum performance with a significant weight saving, which is critical for mobility. It also introduces a far greater degree of architectural flexibility, enabling vehicles to be configured in ways which offer greater protection to their occupants.
“For us, this contract offers an opportunity to show how our expertise, built through 17 years of developing electro-mechanical transmissions for tracked and wheeled vehicles, can help customers de-risk the future.”
A FTSE250 company, QinetiQ uses its world class knowledge, research and innovation to provide high-end technical expertise and advice, to customers in the global aerospace, defence and security markets. QinetiQ’s unique position enables it to be a trusted partner to government organizations, predominantly in the UK and the US, including defence departments as well as other international customers in targeted sectors.