And we don’t mean for the people involved, but for the environment. You see, this armoured military vehicle is designed with fuel efficiency in mind.
FED Alpha is a product of Ricardo Inc. for the U.S. Army’s Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC). The light tactical vehicle is sopposed to lower the Army’s fuel consumption in battlefields and reduce the dependance on oil.
So the main focus while developing it was on fuel efficiency. Does that mean they haven’t spent enough time to make sure it’s good at what it’s supposed to do — moving mobile troops tactically and quickly from A to B?? Well, that is to be found out by the soldiers who are going to use it. But if I were to attend a war, I’d rather go in a good old Humvee with a 50 cal on top. And the hell with fuel consumption!
The FED ALPHA includes numerous fuel-saving features, including:
- A Cummins I4 engine that Ricardo calibrated specifically for tactical vehicle fuel efficiency in Ricardo’s Detroit Technology Campus engine test facilities
- Goodyear Fuel Max low rolling resistance tyres specifically designed for the FED ALPHA
- A high efficiency 28-volt permanent magnet integrated starter-generator from Kollmorgen that enables electric accessories and 20 kW of power for on-board equipment
- An Alcoa Defense lightweight aluminium structure, armouring, and underbody blast shield which support and protect the vehicle while reducing weight
- An improved driveline that utilizes a unique carrier and differential assembly from Ricardo and AxleTech International, including non-geared hubs and REM Chemicals Isotropic Superfinished gears to reduce friction and increase fuel efficiency
- Accelerator feedback pedal and fuel economy display to inform drivers how to operate the vehicle to produce the best fuel economy
- A 6-speed automatic transmission from Aisin
ATC will test the FED ALPHA over the drive cycle that TARDEC and Ricardo developed during the first phase of the programme. This unique cycle is comprised of various real world type activities (convoy, urban assault, cross-country and extended idle) that a typical military vehicle would encounter on a mission-to-mission basis. The real world testing of the FED ALPHA will assist in demonstrating and advancing the various technologies that could be utilized to improve fuel efficiency for other U.S. Army vehicles.