Leonardo DRS to integrate on-board vehicle power systems on THAAD vehicles

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Leonardo DRS, Inc. announced June 28 that it has been selected by the U.S. Army to demonstrate its On-Board Vehicle Power technology on Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missile battery command and control, and launcher vehicles.

The system improvements will give air defense operators immediate access to electrical power directly from a vehicle’s power train. 

Under the contract, the Leonardo DRS Land Electronics business will integrate OBVP systems into THAAD Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles that will serve as demonstrators for the U.S. Missile Defense Agency and Army.

The technology is designed to meet the DOD’s growing power needs.  The OBVP systems are integrated within the vehicle’s transmission to generate up to 55kW of usable electrical power while on the move or up to 120kW of usable electrical power while stationary. This integrated power system enables the Mission Equipment Package payload without taking up valuable space like Auxiliary Power Units, Tunnel / Skid mounted Generators or tow-behind generators. The Leonardo DRS OBVP system has proven it can increase battlefield agility, reduce deployment logistics costs, and improve mission readiness with no impact on vehicle functionality.

“This proven system is designed to provide our customers with a solution to address the growing electrical power gap affecting all military ground vehicle platforms,” said Bill Guyan, vice president and general manager of DRS Land Electronics. “Leonardo DRS and our partner, Allison Transmission, have been long-time believers in OBVP technology.  We look forward to delivering this technology to the Army to give warfighters numerous power options in the field where the power gap will only increase,” Guyan said.

A 2016 U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center Vehicle to Grid study reported a 23 percent fuel savings over Tactical Quiet Generators when employing OBVP technology for grid power.

Initially developed in 2008, Leonardo DRS OBVP systems have successfully performed in various technical demonstrations and evaluations to include the Army Expeditionary Warfare Experiment, Network Integration Evaluation and the U.S. Marine Corps Limited User Test.  Leonardo DRS OBVP technology maturity is ready to address mission-assured power requirements.

Leonardo DRS, partnered with Allison Transmission, will jointly provide existing OBVP systems based on the Allison 3200 SP transmission and will develop an OBVP system for the Allison 4500 SP transmission. Both systems will support the THAAD vehicles used for command and control and missile launchers.