The US Army has awarded Allison Transmission a $6.55 million contract “to design, develop, and test an electric hybrid sub-system” for the firm’s Next Generation Electrified Transmission in the service’s armored combat vehicles.
The transmission “features a 220 kilowatt electric motor and associated inverter for on-board vehicle power and parallel electric hybrid operation,” the firm said.
Allison claims that the system provides a marked reduction in fuel consumption, enhanced mobility, and lower acoustic and thermal signatures.
“The Next Generation Electrified Transmission will provide far more than power generation,” Allison Transmission official Dana Pittard said.
“Our technology will deliver electric hybrid propulsion using blended torque that provides edge-of-the box performance or true engine-off silent mobility.”
Among the US Army vehicles that could be fitted with the system are main battle tanks and the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV), set to replace 3,000 aging Bradley fighting vehicles.
Part of US Army’s Modernization Strategy
In February, the US Army announced its intention to drastically reduce its use of fossil fuel-burning vehicles, eventually transitioning to an all-electric passenger vehicle fleet.
As part of this initiative, the service declared its intention to field hybrid tactical vehicles such as the OMFV by 2035 and an all-electric fleet by 2050.
Logistical and supply concerns motivate the transformation. However, chief among the reasons for this transition is the necessity to mitigate climate change.
“The time to address climate change is now,” US Army Secretary Christine Wormuth explained at the time.
“The effects of climate change have taken a toll on supply chains, damaged our infrastructure, and increased risks to Army soldiers and families due to natural disasters and extreme weather.”