Over the past 15 years, military vehicle technology has evolved to greatly increase the occupants’ probability of survival in a buried charge attack. However, such an attack will still typically immobilise the vehicle. If the vehicle is to be recovered, additional resources, such as a low loader and protective personnel, must be deployed into a high threat environment. Our customer needed an innovative method to improve vehicle survivability in a buried charge attack, and wanted us to demonstrate this on a small Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV).
Our radical solution comprises a collective electric drive, where each wheel is driven independently by six individually armoured electric motors, connected to six individually armoured power modules. The armour is light weight, and in an attack the propulsion system disintegrates like a Formula One car to minimise the damage sustained by each module. Surviving modules can then be re-integrated in the field (mixing and matching surviving motor modules with surviving power modules) for maximum restoration of the vehicle’s locomotive capability.
In blast trials, the vehicle took extreme punishment. In one case, a module launched over 60m by the blast was recovered and successfully re-integrated. In all cases, the vehicle maintained at least 70% of its original locomotive performance.