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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.”