The Army has just received the first prototype of a plug-in hybrid electric armored vehicle at their U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) in Warren, Michigan. The vehicle, dubbed the FED Bravo, was developed by an outside company and is going to help the Army test fuel efficiency in military vehicles with possible widespread adoption in the future. It is the second in the line of fuel-efficient armored vehicles that the Army has tested — the first was the FED Alpha, a humvee that burns 70% less fuel.
World Technical Services Inc. built both the FED Alpha and the newly delivered FED Bravo offsite before delivering the vehicles to the Army for testing. The FED Alpha — a super fuel efficient humvee with solar panels — has already had its “shakedown” at TARDEC in Michigan, in addition to a round of testing at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. After it was proven worthy, the FED Alpha was shipped to Washington D.C. to be shown off to senior leaders and displayed in the nation’s capital.
The FED Bravo is set to begin rigorous testing in Michigan before the new year, and will then be sent to Aberdeen in the early Spring. Spokespeople for the Army have not yet released information on the physical makeup of the Bravo — we’re not sure if it is a humvee or a tank — but they have noted that the vehicle is a plug-in hybrid electric. Army officials have stated that it is likely neither vehicle will make it into widespread production in its current form, but that they want to integrate the new technologies into their fleet of battle-ready vehicles.
“Hopefully the technology on here can get back into the force,” said Steve Kramer, an engineer with TARDEC that has worked on developing the vehicles for the Army.
NOTE: None of the photos above show the FED Alpha or Bravo