The Electrifying Future of Military Ground Vehicles

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We’ve all witnessed scenes over the last twenty years of U.S. forces conducting combat operations. The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has learned and embraced the many hard lessons from these combat operations. Among these lessons learned are ways to make our forces more mobile, survivable, and lethal on the battlefield. 

That knowledge has translated to numerous technological and design advances in our military ground vehicles intended to increase mobility, lethality, and survivability. As a result, the combat vehicles seen on the battlefield today are more sophisticated than ever – and will only become even more sophisticated and complex in the future. 

As a result, the combat vehicles seen on the battlefield today are more sophisticated than ever – and will only become even more sophisticated and complex in the future.

However, the price for these advancements is an increased need for on-board electrical power.  

One of the drivers for more on-board power is the defeat of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) or roadside bombs. To mitigate the risk of IEDs, the DoD adjusted tactics, techniques and procedures, and turned to technology such as onboard jamming solutions. These systems are designed to emit large amounts of electromagnetic interference to prevent insurgents from remotely detonating these improvised bombs from a relatively safe distance.  

While effective, jammers require large amounts of power previously unavailable. But they are not the only new power-hungry addition to these vehicles.  

Now today’s military ground vehicles also feature high-definition displays, improved next-generation optics and fire control systems, tactical communications networks, and active protection systems such as Trophy. All these additions make a platform more lethal and survivable, but drastically increase the loads placed on the vehicle’s electrical architecture.  

Aviation solutions generate a difference for the DoD 

While an all-electric heavy combat vehicle may be decades away, electrical power generation solutions that can support the systems on these vehicles are already in design and use. Companies like Collins Aerospace have already designed, developed, and installed dense power generation and management technologies that can power the electrical components in military ground vehicles. 

Collins Aerospace is uniquely situated to solve these kinds of high power/small footprint electrical problems.

The Collins main electrical power generator is already used in the most recent variant of Abrams Main Battle Tank, the M1A2C (SEPv3). This generator provides up to 1,000 amps of 28 VDC electrical power, enabling it to successfully operate all the systems that are essential on today’s connected battlefield. The generator increased the power available to the Abrams tank by 60 percent, all within the original space claim of the old generator. 

Collins Aerospace is uniquely situated to solve these kinds of high power/small footprint electrical problems. Many of the same electrical generation and management requirements and limitations facing today’s military ground vehicles are also facing the aviation industry. 

Much like aircraft, power electronics are essential to military ground vehicles, especially high-voltage next-generation vehicles. These electronics must operate in harsh conditions, manage excessive heat, and fit into a small space claim, to name just a few.  Just like today’s battlefield, the battlefields of tomorrow will be dusty, hot, and rugged.  The equipment must be up to the task. 

Collins Aerospace has delivered more than 800 generators for the Abrams Tank program. The company is now looking to leverage that power generation and management technology and experience in the next generation of Abrams, as well as the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) that is in phase three of development for the Army – Engineering & Manufacturing Development (EMD).  

By leveraging Collins’ power generation and management solutions in any next-generation platform, the DoD can ensure our warfighters are receiving the electrical power needed to accomplish their mission and stay safe on the battlefield.

By leveraging Collins’ power generation and management solutions in any next-generation platform, the DoD can ensure our warfighters are receiving the electrical power needed to accomplish their mission and stay safe on the battlefield. 

These advancements are only the beginning of creating more survivable, mobile, and lethal military ground vehicles. As military technology continues to advance, these characteristics will remain a challenge.  Collins Aerospace, however, will continue to be there to meet that challenge.  America’s warfighters deserve nothing less. 

To learn more about Collins Aerospace, CLICK HERE. To read more about the next generation of combat vehicles, CLICK HERE