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C4iSR: Land

MCWL to downsize HEIT prototype, procure further units

26 November 2017

The US Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory (MCWL) will reduce the size of its prototype Hybrid Electric Internally Transportable Vehicle (ITV) Trailer (HEIT) power system so that it can be towed by a Polaris MRZR off-road vehicle.

Additionally, MCWL is also seeking to buy several more systems in fiscal year 2019 and 2020, in advance of an Expeditionary Advance Base Operations experiment in 2020.MCWL's HEIT provides marines ashore more efficient power production and reduces the need for fuel resupply. (USMC)MCWL's HEIT provides marines ashore more efficient power production and reduces the need for fuel resupply. (USMC)

HEIT was designed with two objectives: to power a company coming ashore in a mobile command operations center (COC), as well as the systems the infantry use, including tablet and laptop computers, mobile phones, battery chargers, and batteries for unmanned air and ground systems, which are all electrically powered at the infantry squad level. For example, the Raven unmanned aerial vehicle, Brent Azzarelli, MCWL science and technology division chief engineer, told Jane’s .

HEIT is towed by the Marine Corp’s ITV and the current capability includes a generator, eight batteries, a power management system, a 10 gal (37.85 L) diesel fuel tank, and additional electronic equipment all packed into an ammunition trailer originally designed for the 120 mm Expeditionary Fire Support System. Additionally, HEIT has to be transported from ship to shore via the MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft.

The current system weighs about 1,000 lb (453.59 kg) of which the trailer is approximately one third. Each battery weighs around 70 lb and the goal is to reduce the overall weight by a few hundred pounds.

Moving to a lighter weight trailer will keep HEIT in line with the towing capability of the Polaris MRZR that the marines are currently experimenting with. Engineers are also exploring other options, including reducing the number of batteries to six and reducing the fuel tank capacity to 6 gal (22.71 L), Azzarelli said.

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