Cummins has secured an $87m contract from the US Army to complete the development of the Advanced Combat Engine (ACE).
The contract builds upon the US Army Ground Vehicle Systems Center’s (GVSC) competitive multi-year effort that seeks to develop transformational powertrain technology capable of meeting toughest mobility, survivability and lethality vehicle requirements.
ACE is a modular and scalable diesel engine solution that uses innovative opposed-piston (OP) technology to enhance power density. The engine will be ideal for new or repowered armoured vehicles such as tanks and other infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs).
According to the Cummins website, ACE is expected to be production-ready in 2024.
US Army DEVCOM Ground Vehicle Systems Center Research & Technology Integration executive director Alfred Grein said: “We are excited to continue our valuable partnership with Cummins on the development of the Advanced Combat Engine (ACE). What’s under the hood of the Army Ground Vehicles is also what drives our team’s efforts at enhancing capability development.
“This project is a key part of our research and development work, and we see ACE as a potential enabler for both traditional and hybrid electric powertrains applicable to current and future combat vehicles.”
ACE’s OP technology is said to deliver a 50% increase in power density and enhance fuel efficiency by 13% compared to other combat engines. The technology is also effective in reducing heat rejection.
The engine can be configured in three-cylinder, four-cylinder and six-cylinder arrangements to deliver power ranging from 750 to 1,500 horsepower.
Additionally, ACE can be integrated into hybrid architectures.
Cummins Power Systems president and vice-president Norbert Nusterer said: “ACE offers the US Army rock-solid Cummins engine performance coupled with a configurable, flexible architecture to support their complete portfolio of combat vehicles.
“ACE also offers the option to integrate into hybrid architectures and leverages Cummins’ expertise from investments already made in the commercial space.
“We are excited to expand and deepen our longstanding relationship with the US Army and contribute more cutting-edge technologies that support the current and the next generation of combat vehicles.”