The United States Military has long been a supporter for alternative energy in order to make the assorted Armed Forces as efficient as possible. The efforts have seen the development of everything from fighter jets running on biofuel to solar powered backpacks for troops in Afghanistan. One of the biggest challenges facing the US Army, however, has been how to make their Ground Combat Vehicles (GCVs) more fuel efficient. Currently, the average Army soldier uses 22 gallons of gasoline a day, but that is set to change with BAE Systems unveiling the specifications for a hybrid-electric U.S. Army tank – a vehicle that has been in the works for four years.
The hybrid GCV, known as the Northrop Grumman Ground Combat Vehicle, was first tested in August 2007 and has been designed in order to “modernize the US Army and provide soldiers with a decisive edge against adversaries.” The vehicle includes a hybrid electric drive propulsion system that enables greater force protection and added mobility as it is 20 percent more fuel-efficient than conventional diesel-powered tanks.
The hybrid GCV is part of the US Army’s Future Combat Systems (FCS) program that will see the military utilize hybrid tanks as a way of fueling supply lines faster and putting fewer lives at risk. According to BAE System’s website, the Hybrid Electric Drive (HED) is “the next logical step for the U.S. Army, and now is the time for soldiers to reap the benefits that hybrid will bring to the battlefield.”
via Green Auto Blog