Home' Defence Technology Review : DTR OCT 2015 Contents 17
DEFENCE TECHNOLOGY REVIEW | ISSUE 14 | OCT 2015
Tracked UGV for multiple missions
QinetiQ to design electric hub-drive
tracks, leaving the centre section free to be configured as
required. The UGV is to be developed to allow for remote or
Weighing 750kg and with payload of 500kg, the tracked
configuration grants excellent mobility over all terrain types as
well as the capability to overcome vertical obstacles such as
kerb and guttering in urban settings.
The UGV is the first of its kind to use ultra-capacitor power
cells for increased energy efficiency and reliability. A control
unit regulates energy flow between the diesel generator,
electric motors and the ultra-capacitors from Skeleton
Technologies, reducing overall energy consumption by 25-
40 per cent. The ultra-capacitors also ensure more reliable
starting in cold conditions or after prolonged periods in
Ultra-capacitors are a highly efficient form of energy
storage able to provide very high currents of power. Skeleton
Technologies claims its cells can charge/discharge millions of
times, offering lifetimes up to 500 times longer than batteries.
Crucially for applications in colder climates, the technology
can operate in temperatures as low as -65° Celsius.
– Ian Bostock
A tracked multi-mission unmanned ground vehicle (UGV)
from Estonian company Milrem was unveiled at the DSEI
2015 exhibition in mid-September.
Developed in co-operation with the Estonian Ministry of
Defence and Estonian Defence Forces, the prototype UGV
is aimed at a variety of missions beyond the usual improvised
explosive device and bomb disposal roles, including weapons
carrier, remote surveillance, communications relay, medical
evacuation and load carrier.
The full length rubber tracks run along the flanks of the
vehicle, with all powertrain systems and power sources
housed within the cavity between the top and bottom
LEFT: The first prototype of the Milrem UGV on display at DSEI
2015 fitted with a remote weapon system. Image: Skeleton Technologies
The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
(DARPA) has awarded QinetiQ a US$1.5 million (AUD$2.1
million) contract to design and develop an electric hub-drive to
improve the survivability and mobility of future ground vehicles.
The contract is part of DARPA’s Ground X-Vehicle
Technologies program (‘DARPA hits the reset button on
AFV protection’) that is investigating technologies that may
increase capability in the next generation of combat vehicles.
The QinetiQ hub-drive design, according to an 8 September
company release, seeks to improve mobility through enhanced
power, torque, integral braking and high efficiency, in a unit
that can be contained within a 20-inch wheel rim.
The design aims to increase survivability by removing drive
shafts and gearboxes, which can become lethal to occupants
in the event of an improvised explosive device detonation
beneath the vehicle. The absence of these components could
also reduce weight and open up future design possibilities,
such as fully independent suspension with significantly
QinetiQ’s hub-drive design is also expected to offer a
higher degree of architectural flexibility, enabling vehicles
to be configured in ways which offer greater protection to
– Matthew Mendenhall
QinetiQ’s electric hub-
drive concept seeks to
enhance vehicle mobility
Presented at DSEI 2015 was the Light Reconnaissance
Vehicle (LRV) 400 Mk 2, a new 4x4 from Supacat aimed
at the special operations market for a compact and high-
performance tactical vehicle internally transportable in the
CH-47 Chinook heavy-lift helicopter.
A significant redesign of the Mk 1 vehicle launched in 2012,
the LRV 400 Mk 2 utilises the rolling chassis and automotive
systems from the Land Rover Discovery, with modifications
made to ensure suitability for military use.
Adoption of the mass-produced Discovery automotive
platform provides proven performance, reliability and cost
efficiencies to the LRV 400 Mk 2. The vehicle is also free
of International Traffic in Arms Regulations restrictions and
can be supported via the existing globally available spares
network and service centres for Land Rover.
The LRV 400 Mk 2 has been designed specifically to
be a drive-on/drive-off proposition for CH-47 lift, enabling
the vehicle to be fully crewed and in tactical configuration
ready to fight once it clears the rear ramp. This requires
structures such as the roll-over protection system (ROPS),
primary weapon mount and externally-mounted stowage to be
retained within the aircraft’s vehicle cargo profile and required
clearances for transportation of internal loads.
The LRV 400 Mk 2 also incorporates Supacat’s Extenda
concept, whereby the vehicle can be converted from 4x4
to 6x6 configuration when increased payload, capacity and
range are required. The vehicle can also accept lightweight
add-on armour and ballistic crew seats to provide a measure
of protection for the 3-4 man crew.
Engineered to operate at high speeds over harsh terrain,
the LRV 400 Mk 2 can reach speeds of 160km/h and has
a maximum range of 800km. Powered by a V6 3.0 litre
turbo diesel providing 256bhp and 600Nm of torque that is
coupled to an 8-speed automatic transmission, gross vehicle
mass is 4,200kg, of which 1,700kg can be all-up payload
depending on configuration. Permanent high-low 4-wheel
drive with centre differential lock is standard, with cross-axle
differential locks an option.
Armament fit is customer dependent but would typically
comprise a manually-operated ring mount atop the ROPS for
an M2QCB 12.7mm heavy machine gun or 40mm automatic
grenade launcher, and a swing arm at the commander’s
station for a 5.56mm light machine gun or 7.62mm medium
Standard equipment includes two spare tyres, front-
mounted self-recovery winch and internal racking for
ammunition, communications gear and jerrycan stowage.
Optional equipment includes smoke grenade dischargers,
run-flat tyres, detachable polycarbonate windscreen, remote
weapon system and forward/rear facing infrared cameras.
Development of the vehicle is expected to be complete by
– Ian Bostock
Supacat reveals LRV 400 Mk 2
LEFT: Envisaged roles for
the LRV 400 Mk 2 include
reconnaissance, strike and
patrol, with high-speed
movement over harsh
terrain a strongpoint.
BELOW: To ensure drive-on/
drive-off capability with the
CH-47 Chinook, stowage of
bulky items such as spare
tyres and jerrycans has been
kept within the confines of
the vehicle as shown.
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