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Beer Monster
08-24-2005, 08:25 AM
Had a quick search but don't think anyone has posted a topic on this yet. It's an article in the latest Soldier magazine, The Advanced Hybrid Electirc Drive (AHED) Vehicle is competing in the British Armys Future Rapid Effect System (FRES) program:-



SCI-FI mean machine

LOOKING like the tank from Hollywood blockbuster Aliens this is a US firm’s vision of what Britain’s next generation of medium armour should look like.

The mean-looking Advanced Hybrid Electric Drive (AHED) vehicle, in which the Army is taking a keen interest, boasts an array of tricks that would make ET-bashing Sigourney Weaver go green with envy.

The eight-wheel-drive vehicle has an individual hi-tech electronic motor powering every wheel, which guarantees the AHED will keep motoring even if one or more is knocked out by enemy fire.

A revolutionary steering system means it boasts amazing manoeuvrability and can literally spin 360 degrees on the spot.

A 536-horsepower diesel engine, which recharges two large battery packs running the length of the vehicle, can be switched off, making the AHED stealthily silent.

The first thing that’ll strike you about this monster, however, is how close to the ground it is.

The AHED’s hydraulic suspension means it can lower itself from 23 inches to just five inches from the ground and can stalk its prey like a cat on it haunches.

In fact the AHED, built by General Dynamics Land Systems, is not much higher than a family saloon car but, Tardis-like, it can still accommodate a dozen troops with room to spare.

Unlike most tanks and armoured vehicles, the driver of this one doesn’t have to squint through a tiny periscope or stick his head out of a hatch. Instead, the AHED has a generous windscreen, but at the flick of a switch the entire armoured front deck of the vehicle can be raised to hide the windscreen if the AHED comes under fire.

The fully working prototype Soldier inspected had no weapons systems but a string of variants is planned.

Randy Kinnucan, General Dynamics’ lead AHED driver and mechanic, knows the vehicle like no one else.

He said: “The AHED handles like no other wheeled or tracked vehicle out there. You can execute high-speed turns at 20mph that would throw a track on a tracked vehicle and it can go over terrain that would be off-limits to normal wheeled vehicles.

“I learned my trade driving the Bradley armoured vehicle and the Abrams tank but the AHED is in a class of its own.”

The vehicle is sure to ruffle feathers among track fans because it boasts traction control in each of its eight wheels, meaning it can go virtually anywhere a conventional tank can go. However, if it is deployed in very extreme conditions tracks can still be fixed to its wheels.

Ray Shaw, the technical whiz behind the AHED’s development, told Soldier: “When the Russians sped into Sarajevo Airport in their wheeled armoured personnel carriers beating everyone else we really sat up and took notice.

“That was really a defining moment when we realised that we had to develop a wheeled vehicle that could go places a tracked vehicle could go.

“At the end of the day,” he added, “we’ve come up with something that looks pretty damn good, which is always a good sign.”

The British Army is currently looking at the AHED as part of its £14bn Future Rapid Effect System. Other vehicles are also under consideration.

Link to article (http://www.soldiermagazine.co.uk/mag/kitstop.htm)

Link to video (http://www.tacom.army.mil/tardec/nac/projects/veh8x8.mpg) (10.2MB)

PDF (http://www.dodsbir.net/sitis/view_pdf.asp?id=HE%208x8%20AHED%2027.pdf) report

http://www.soldiermagazine.co.uk/images/article_images/kitIMG_0939.jpg

Stolly
08-24-2005, 09:51 AM
Sounds interesting, as long as its built in the UK.

Tuomio
08-24-2005, 10:45 AM
I am really looking forward to unmanned armored vehicles. Actually its quite suprising that such developement is decade ahead on aircrafts. Ie. you could drive UAV platoon into very hot situations without any fear of losing a single soldier. Combined with this kind of hybrid drive, they could absorb damage like no other and still pull out from the fight.

No life support, no crew compartments, imagine the low profile on that one and the weight losses!

Hellfish
08-24-2005, 10:56 AM
Very interesting stuff - you can probably get pretty good situational awareness too, especially when you've got the UAV guy sitting right next to the UGV guy.

usarfang
08-24-2005, 01:09 PM
I see a U.S. and U.K. flag on there. wonder what other country's flag is on there =D

-Caveman-
08-24-2005, 02:35 PM
I seen this thing on the military channel it a very good idea with the electric motors in each wheel hub the is more room for the crew.

flanker7
08-24-2005, 02:45 PM
It reminds me a bit of that vehicle in the aliens movie

ZoneOne
08-24-2005, 03:09 PM
it looks just like the vehicle from the aliens movie

it's soo funny how sci-fi stuff usually becomes a reality 15-20yrs later after the movie has been made

Now all we need are space marines with photon laser canons

2Sheds_Jackson
08-24-2005, 03:24 PM
The .pdf file has lots of good info. I have to say, this appears very similar in concept to a concept that General Motors has been working on for years - its just a flat, modular power train that can form the basis for any number of vehicles. Basically, you have the power plant, batteries, suspension and steering gear arranged in a flat wafer between the wheel hubs - then you just slap whatever configuration you want on top of it. Of course this has 8 wheel drive, 4 wheel sterring, and guns. Which is cooler.

theg
08-24-2005, 03:27 PM
Sounds interesting, as long as its built in the UK.
x2

OMEGA7
08-26-2005, 02:13 PM
TAKE MY A HEAD!