The US Office of Naval Research has awarded new contracts to QinetiQ for the Armored Reconnaissance Vehicle (ARV) programme.

Under the contracts, QinetiQ will perform the first phase of development for the new hub drive unit electric propulsion system and long travel suspension technologies for use in ARVs.

The current model leverages the electric hub drive development accomplished by the company under the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Ground X Vehicle Technologies (GXV-T) programme.

Designed to address the functional drawbacks associated with single-speed and fixed-speed hub drives for military application, the QinetiQ electric hub drive unit technology combines a compact electric motor with a multi-stage gearbox and integral brake.

The technology is capable of operating at either high output speed or high output torque, enabling combined improvements in operational and tactical mobility.

“All fighting forces are looking to technology to deliver the operational advantages of lethality, mobility and survivability to their warfighters.”

The long travel suspension technology facilitates wheel travel of around twice that of a conventional suspension without the need for complex, multi-link systems or configurations used by extreme off-roaders.

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The QinetiQ concept will enable the vehicle to easily change modes, from a high-ride height improvised explosive device (IED) resistant standoff stance to rock ‘crawler’ behaviour.

The technology will help enhance vehicle survivability in amphibious operations through improved in-water performance and entry/exit from water.

QinetiQ business development vice-president Trent Shackelford said: “The demands of warfare continue to evolve rapidly and all fighting forces are looking to technology to deliver the operational advantages of lethality, mobility and survivability to their warfighters.

“Our hub drive unit and long travel suspension deliver these advantages by significantly increasing the available internal space inside a combat vehicle, offering vehicle architecture that enables greater protection to its occupants.

“In addition, the significantly improved performance, flexibility in changing ride height and enhanced amphibious capabilities are critical for improved mobility.”