US Army’s big green tank ready to roll

As per its focus in recent years on greening its operations and technologies, the US military will be making use of a hybrid electric Ground Combat Vehicle design.

This tank, under development by BAE Systems and Northrup Grumman for the last four years, is said to be as much as 20 percent more fuel-efficient than conventional diesel-powered tanks. It weighs 70 tons and offers room for 12 personnel.

Utilizing what BAE calls “a mature, advanced propulsion system that has proven to be highly reliable across transportation sectors,” the hybrid Ground Combat Vehicle was designed to help the Army accomplish a number of tasks. 

One, to cut down on its fuel consumption (a key factor, considering that the average  soldier uses 22 gallons of gasoline a day), and two, to help protect soldiers, as a significant number of military personnel are harmed each year in the act of protecting fuel supply vehicles.

By focusing on hybrid powertrains, the Army is looking to use hybrid tanks as a way to reduce the number of fuel supply lines to areas of combat, and put  fewer lives at risk in the process of keeping its vehicles rolling.

The New York Times reports that while most civilians would call the hybrid-electric Ground Combat Vehicle a tank, its platform and powertrain could be used in other military vehicle applications, which opens the door to a diverse array of hybrid electric vehicles for the military over the coming years. 

As of March 1, the vehicle has been approved for development, with production contingent on a formal order from the Defense Department. The Ground Combat Vehicle pictured is expected to run around $11 million per vehicle.


Susan DeFreitas, EarthTechling