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DSEI 2021: British Army demonstrates progress with HED-powered prototypes

A HED-equipped Jackal 2 high-mobility patrol vehicle and Foxhound protected patrol vehicle demonstrating silent running outside the ExCel Centre at DSEI 2021. (Janes/P Felstead)

Evidence that the power and mobility advantages of vehicles powered by hybrid electric drive (HED) are approaching real-world utility on the modern battlefield was in evidence at this month's DSEI exhibition in London in the form of three vehicles demonstrated by the British Army.

The three vehicles – a Jackal 2 4×4 high-mobility patrol vehicle, a Foxhound 4×4 protected patrol vehicle and a MAN SV 4×4 6-tonne tactical truck – each featured various commercially available HED systems supplied by UK firm Magtec. The Jackal, for example, has a four-cylinder Cummins diesel instead of the original vehicle's six-cylinder powerpack; a 150 kW electric generator; a 60 kW/hr battery; and four traction motors each rated at 50 kW driving the wheels.

The vehicles were shown running silently on just electrical power as well as easily negotiating a vertical concrete step about 40 cm high. The Jackal and Foxhound were also shown using their independently controlled and powered wheels to ‘pirouette in place': a manoeuvre impossible for their conventionally powered counterparts that demonstrated their mobility options in confined spaces.

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