(via BAE Systems)
Recently the US military has been increasing its use of ‘green’ technology in the last few years, but they have been in the area of renewable energy sources for some time. The armed forces are slowly but surely incorporating hybrid vehicles into their ranks. One such vehicle, being developed by the partnership of BAE systems and Northrop Grumman for the US Army, is both green and lethal. Called the Ground Combat Vehicle, the armored troop-carrier sports a hybrid-electric drive system that uses two electric motors (generating 1,400 horsepower) powered by a lithium-ion battery. Two diesel engines, which hold 255 gallons of fuel, provide back-up power as well as recharging the batteries when necessary. What makes the GCV a formidable threat is its ability to run completely on battery power, which makes it almost silent on the battlefield. Overall, the fuel efficiency of the tank gets a 10-20% boost over its stock counterpart. Another notable feature of the hybrid is the ability to ‘plug’ in electric-powered weapons systems such as LRADs (Long Range Acoustic Device) and microwave weapons which gives troops more options when it comes to load-outs.
The 70 ton hybrid can carry three crew members and nine passengers with a top speed of 43 Mph at a range of 186 miles. It’s also outfitted with a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun and 25mm auto-cannon as a base platform which can be upgraded with different weapons for depending on the scenario. The GCV looks like an updated hybrid Bradley Fighting Vehicle for the 21st century but with thicker armor and a completely different drive system. The Defense Department has approved for production at a cost of about $11,000,000 US each which would make the GCV a truly ‘Mean Green Killing Machine’!