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Home > Defence Equipment News > NP Aerospace ~ PMETS Electric-Drive FOXHOUND and JACKAL

NP Aerospace ~ PMETS Electric-Drive FOXHOUND and JACKAL

A FOXHOUND Light Protected Patrol Vehicle on operations in Afghanistan [Crown Copyright: Cpl Si Longworth]
The UK MoD has awarded NP Aerospace a £3million contract contract to demonstrate electric-drive FOXHOUND and JACKAL Vehicles.

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Press Release, Coventry, 20 August 2020: NP Aerospace has been awarded a £3m contract by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) to demonstrate hybrid electric-drive systems on FOXHOUND and JACKAL vehicles, with the project being delivered in collaboration with General Dynamics Land Systems UK, Supacat and Magtec.

The contract award is part of the Protected Mobility Engineering & Technical Support (PMETS) programme which is being led by 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 (but not limited to);

  • Silent mobility;
  • Enhanced Silent Watch capabilities;
  • Off-board electrical power;
  • 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.

Pictured is the JACKAL reconnaissance vehicle on an integration exercise on Salisbury Plain prior to deployment to Mali [Crown Copyright: Daniel Harrison]

David Petheram, Chief Operating Officer, NP Aerospace, said: “The Protected Mobility Engineering & Technical Support (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.”

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, SC Group-Global CEO, said: 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. This is a very exciting project and clearly shows the British Army moving towards a non-hydrocarbon future as signalled by Chief of the General Staff at DSEI in 2019. This fits perfectly with our current and future strategy.”

Andrew Gilligan, Managing Director, Magtec, said: “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.”

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A FOXHOUND vehicle (left/front) followed by a Husky (Centre) and a Man SV vehicle (right/rear) during a rolling resupply during Exercise WESSEX STORM [Crown Copyright: Cpl James McAllister]

Armoured Vehicles To Test Electric Technology

MoD Press Release, 19 August embargoed until 20 August 2020: New hybrid technology is being tested on the Army’s FOXHOUND and JACKAL 2 vehicles following a £3 million investment from the MoD.

Offering improved silent mobility, hybrid and electric drive systems will provide sustainability benefits and deliver potential military advantages, reducing noise and increasing stealth capability. Electric systems will also provide game-changing power off-board, while increased power onboard will allow the vehicles to operate the latest technologies.

The innovative hybrid electric-drive system will be developed by NP Aerospace. The Coventry-based company will work in collaboration with General Dynamics UK, Supacat and Magtec to create prototypes of the FOXHOUND and JACKAL 2 vehicles to test the new technology.

Defence Minister Jeremy Quin, said: “It is vital our armoured vehicles are equipped with the latest technology so we can maintain our battle-winning edge.

“These tests will ensure our Armed Forces have the latest, safest and most efficient technology, while continuing to support prosperity across the UK. They represent a potential opportunity to improve our vehicles sustainability and military effectiveness.”

JACKAL 2 Armoured Fighting Vehicles and a Panther patrol vehicle drive through wooded area on exercise in Germany before eFP deployment to Poland [Crown Copyright: Dominic King]

Alongside delivering multiple technical and operational enhancements, the introduction of hybrid technology will ultimately reduce the Army’s reliance on fossil fuels – a step towards the Government’s 2050 net zero goal. Adopting greener technology into the MoD’s equipment fleet is part of the department’s strategy to reduce its contributions to carbon and greenhouse gas emissions. Measures like this will be reflected in the department’s ongoing Climate Change and Sustainability Review, led by Lt Gen Richard Nugee.

Lt General Richard Nugee said: “It is great to see the Army testing electric vehicles that will benefit not only our world-class personnel, but also our planet. This goes to show how seriously we are incorporating sustainability into our operations, while simultaneously pushing the boundaries of military innovation.”

The review will focus on a range of initiatives from the MoD’s NZ50 strategy to setting the right baseline for defence’s emissions and carbon footprint, with findings set to be published in December 2020. This next-generation army vehicle technology is being tested under the Protected Mobility Engineering & Technical Support (PMETS) programme, which is ensuring that the UK’s cutting-edge fleet of 2,200 armoured vehicles are continuously updated and upgraded. The £63m PMETS contract was awarded to NP Aerospace in 2019, supporting 100 jobs in Coventry and 250 jobs across the UK supply chain until 2024.

The hybrid electric drives project is known as Technology Demonstrator 6 (TD6), which sees the Army prototype hybrid drives and assess the benefits. The initial stages of TD6 is expected to be showcased at the Defence Vehicle Dynamics 20 (DVD20) in November.

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