The Office of Naval Research (ONR), the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) announced today that during December, 2002 the RST-V (Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Targeting Vehicle) Program completed a three day, 1000 mile demonstration of extended range operations with one of its V-22 transportable hybrid-electric demonstrator vehicles. This vehicle is one of 4 being developed by General Dynamics Land Systems under joint sponsorship of DARPA and the U S Marine Corps/Office of Naval Research.
The south to north route followed highways from Fort Benning, Georgia, to the GDLS facility in Muskegon, Michigan. The vehicle successfully traversed typical highway conditions, including; sustained highway speeds, mountain passes, rain, snow, and rough construction zones. Data collected and lessons learned during the drive will be applied to improving the vehicle's final configuration.
Several of the RST-V vehicles are currently being outfitted and tested under off-road conditions in preparation for mission profile testing by March 2003. At the end of the technology demonstration program in 2003, the system will be ready to enter the System Design and Development (SDD) phase of acquisition, subject to service interest.
The Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Targeting Vehicle (RST-V) program is designing, developing, and testing/demonstrating four advanced hybrid electric drive, lightweight, highly maneuverable technology demonstrator vehicles capable of V-22 internal transport. The vehicle incorporates technological advancements in the areas of integrated survivability techniques and advanced suspension. The vehicle also hosts integrated precision geo location, communication and Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Targeting sensor subsystems.
The RST-V is a 4x4 hybrid electric drive vehicle which can be equipped in a range of mission variants including, a forward observer/forward air control vehicle, reconnaissance, a light strike vehicle, battlefield ambulance, air defense, logistics vehicle, personnel carrier, anti-armor, mortar weapons carrier, Command Post variant, and mobile 60 kW generator.
The vehicle can be transported in roll on/roll off mode in a CH-53, CH-47 helicopter, V-22 tiltrotor and C-130 Hercules.
The vehicle has an in-hub hybrid-electric drive that allows operations at double the range or twice the time on station compared to other current systems. The vehicle has demonstrated maximum road speeds of 70 miles per hour, and significant speeds over cross-country terrain. The hybrid drive provides a silent operation range, on batteries alone, of 20 miles. The hybrid power system also provides up to 60 kW of auxiliary power simplifying battlefield logistics by providing electrical power without towed generators.
The in hub wheel drive approach is adaptable to a variety of vehicle designs and missions, promoting commonality of components between vehicle fleets. Modular designs of 6x6 and 8x8 diesel-electric and hybrid electric vehicles can be produced utilizing the same hardware.
The RST-V program is carrying advanced vehicle architecture, in-hub electric drive, hybrid power systems, advanced mobility design, and survivability technologies forward for application to the US Army's Future Combat System (FCS) and the US Marine Corps' MAGTF Expeditionary Family of Fighting Vehicle (MEFFV).
General Dynamics Land Systems is the prime contractor. General Dynamics Land Systems Muskegon Technical Center based in Muskegon, Michigan is responsible for the vehicle design. The Land Systems Tallahassee Operations facility in Florida is responsible for C4 integration. The main subcontractors include Magnet Motor GmbH, based in Germany, which is responsible for the electric drives and controls, General Dynamics — Canada (formerly Computing Devices Canada), responsible for integration of the reconnaissance, surveillance and targeting systems and Signature Research which is carrying out the survivability subsystems integration.