Land Warfare

PREMIUM: Supacat looks towards electric Light Role Vehicle

22nd February 2021 - 15:45 GMT | by Flavia Camargos Pereira in London

The electric Light Role Vehicle will provide silent and stealth mobility in addition to sustainability benefits. Supacat has already developed the chassis and is working on the electric driveline for LRV.

UK company Supacat is working to build an electric version of its Light Role Vehicle (LRV), to deliver enhanced stealth capabilities as well as sustainability benefits.

During an online demonstration on 18 February, Toby Cox, deputy head of support at Supacat, explained that R&D of the electric LRV will capitalise on the knowledge and experience the company gained with the Electric All Terrain Mobility Platform (eATMP).

‘For the next-generation, LRV will have the additional capabilities of hybridisation as an option to suit our customers,’ Cox claimed.

He added that this effort aligns with the MoD Science and Technology Strategy 2020 and the need to strengthen capacities to overcome emerging new threats.

Steve Austen, engineering director at Supacat, pointed out that the work on the electric driveline for LRV is under way and the chassis has already been developed.

He stressed that these enhancements are ‘very much dependent on the kind of duty cycle and the requirements for electrification, whether it is around exportable power, whether it is stealthy operation'.

The LRV is suitable for SF, border patrol, reconnaissance and strike operations. It has a modular design that provides a range of configuration options from the factory and the flexibility to re-role the base vehicle throughout its lifetime.

The platform can be equipped with Hutchinson bead-lock run-flat tyres, a self-recovery winch, RWS, weapon mounts and smoke grenade launchers.

Other features include ballistic armour and crew seats, right- or left-hand drive and IR cameras (forward- and rear-facing).

The LRV also be converted from a 4x4 to a 6x6 vehicle by adding a third axle module. ‘This offers the users the flexibility to reduce the overall size of their fleet and swiftly reconfigure the vehicle to suit different operational demands,’ Cox noted.

He added that the LRV was developed to fill a gap in military light ground tactical support vehicles and to enable a low whole-life cost.

In addition to enhancing its LRV, Supacat has also been embedding improvements to its High Mobility Transporter (HMT) over the last 15 years, with gains in armour protection and load carrying capabilities as well as in mobility.

This HMT is in service with Estonia, the UK and the US according to Shephard Defence Insight. The UK has 440 units in its inventory and operates the platform since 2004.

Roger Baker, post design services manager at Supacat, highlighted that many of the enhancements — such as adding a central tyre ...

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