BAE Systems just put out a new infographic detailing the benefits of the hybrid electric drive system the company has developed for the Army’s Ground Combat Vehicle competition. If selected, it would be the first hybrid combat vehicle ever fielded. The graphic illustrates how BAE’s hybrid system will ensure its GCV offering is faster, quieter and more fuel-efficient than standard 70-ton combat vehicles.
To view a larger version of the graphic, click here.
BAE’s release of its hybrid-electric infographic comes on the heels of a Congressional Budget Office report that states that the Army’s GCV may have to weigh as much as 84 tons for the vehicle to meet the service’s list of requirements. This would make the GCV heavier than the 64-ton M1A2 Abrams tank and more than twice as heavy as the 33-ton M2A3 Bradley fighting vehicle its replacing.
It has been difficult for Army officials to refute such estimates since the service didn’t set a weight limit for the new vehicle to avoid trade-offs in soldier protection, lethality and survivability.
The requirement that the GCV carry a nine-man squad and the remaining crew inside the vehicle’s protected volume is a primary factor in setting the size, weight, and cost of the GCV, the CBO maintains.
The Army announced an initial acquisition goal of 1,874 vehicles with production of the vehicle starting in 2018. The Army issued a revised RFP in November 2010 after the initial solicitation were deemed too ambitious and created a real possibility that high technical risks and immature technologies would lead to spiraling costs and schedule delays.
The revised RFP left some flexibility in how the contractor could address the requirements and designated a manufacturing cost of between $9 million and $10.5 million per vehicle, an average procurement unit cost of $13 million per vehicle, and a sustainment cost of $200 per mile of operation. In August 2011, the Army awarded contracts valued at about $450 million each to BAE and General Dynamics Land Systems.