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Alcon Delivers QinetiQ E-X-Drive Braking Solution

QinetiQ Modular E-X-Drive with Alcon manufactured braking system [Alcon press release image]

Alcon delivers bespoke braking solution for QinetiQ’s Modular E-X-Drive electric tracked vehicle propulsion system.


Press Release, Tamworth, 28 March 2023: Alcon Components Ltd, the highly acclaimed UK-based brake and clutch company, has announced the delivery of a bespoke braking system for QinetiQ’s Modular E-X-Drive (M-E-X-Drive) electric tracked vehicle propulsion system and QinetiQ hub drives. Working closely together with QinetiQ, Alcon have production engineered QinetiQ’s innovative braking solution that incorporates a multitude of features to overcome the unique challenges faced by an electric propulsion system of this type.

QinetiQ’s braking solution, produced by Alcon is an innovative design with the brake being embedded in the transmission assembly. The potential high temperatures are mitigated by the use of a water-cooling system in the brake assembly. The brake housings were machined at Alcon’s high precision machining facility in Northampton and assembled at their main site in Tamworth. Assemblies were validated on one of Alcon’s dynamometers in Tamworth, that was adapted to include the water-cooling system. The project timings were tight and Alcon’s project, design, production and test engineers worked closely with QinetiQ on a solution that needed to meet the needs of a constantly evolving overall system design.

As part of an electric tracked vehicle propulsion system, QinetiQ’s Modular E-X-Drive offers a lighter, more compact and efficient solution compared with conventional mechanical transmission systems. Combining electrical and mechanical components in a novel configuration that is efficiently packaged, M-E-X-Drive incorporates mechanical regenerative transfer of steering power, range-shift mechanisms, and permanent magnet motor technology. As a demonstrated low-risk solution, using M-E-X-Drive as part of an electric propulsion system offers the opportunity for innovative tracked vehicle configurations founded on a fundamental shift in platform design trade space options. Not only is an M-E-X-Drive-based transmission package smaller and lighter than comparable conventional transmissions it also lends itself to novel vehicle layouts to improve survivability, agility, and mission success.

Steven Goldsack, Senior Programme Manager at QinetiQ said: “It was a superb delivery from my point of view from Alcon. The braking requirements of our system were incredibly unique and demanded fresh thinking and innovation to achieve production. Alcon’s engineers worked closely with my team to produce our unique solution that has completely met our requirements”.

Jonathan Edwards, Group Sales Director at Alcon said: “We’re very proud of the braking solution we’ve delivered to QinetiQ on the M-E-X-Drive programme. It’s quite unique and has required our production engineers to look at things differently in order to help QinetiQ solve the complex problems of braking such a tracked vehicle electric drive system.” He added: “this is yet another example of Alcon working together with defence sector OEMs to help solve complex problems. As a result, we’re fast becoming the bespoke braking partner of choice across the defence vehicle community where we’re working on projects ranging from 3.5t armoured SUVs to 35t+ 8×8 fighting vehicles”.


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