BAE Systems has won a $32m prototype agreement to integrate a Hybrid Electric Drive (HED) system onto a Bradley fighting vehicle.

The agreement has been awarded by the US Army’s Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO), which will work closely with Program Executive Office Ground Combat Systems (PEO GCS) on the effort.

Work under the development programme will be performed at the BAE Systems’ Sterling Heights, Michigan, and San Jose, California, facilities and is scheduled to commence this year.

The company will partner with QinetiQ and use existing A2 Bradley as the integration testbed.

BAE will retrofit and deliver two vehicles with HEDs. It is expected to take 24 months.

The project also includes carrying out contractor performance assessments, testing and validation.

BAE Systems’ Ground Vehicles product line vice-president Scott Davis said: “Integrating a HED system into combat vehicles vastly increases on-board power and provides a significant increase in mobility, lethality options, and range, all of which enable overmatching operational capabilities.”

In addition to improving automotive performance, HEDs support autonomy, increase power generation, survivability and improve lethality.

With minor platform modifications, HED technology can be configured onto vehicles including the Bradley, the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle, the M109A7 self-propelled howitzers and the family of Multiple Launch Rocket Systems.

QinetiQ has developed the electric cross drive transmission (Modular E-X-Drive).

Further, BAE Systems also submitted a proposal to the US Army for the delivery of two prototype vehicles for the Cold Weather All-Terrain Vehicle (CATV) programme.

Currently in production, BAE Systems’ Beowulf platform is as an unarmoured, tracked vehicle for carrying cargo and personnel is capable of operating in remote and harsh conditions.

Once developed, the vehicle will replace the small unit support vehicles (SUSVs) currently in service.