June 16, 2015 Volume 11 Issue 23

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Formula One suspension tech adapted to armored combat vehicles

Engineers at U.K.-based BAE Systems have applied an upgraded Active Damping system to current variants of the CV90 combat vehicle family, breaking speed records in rough terrain and increasing the CV90's agility by reducing the vehicle's pitch acceleration by approximately 40 percent.

First introduced into Formula One in the 1990s, the Active Damping system works by sensing the speed of the vehicle and layout of the terrain ahead and responding by pressurizing the suspension to keep the vehicle on a level plane at all times.

This increased stability across all terrain is helping to reduce the wear and tear on the armored vehicles and subsequently reduce through-life repair costs for each vehicle, despite being able to travel 30 to 40 percent faster on rough terrain -- now at more than 40 mph.

For the crew of three (commander, driver, and gunner) and up to eight additional passenger soldiers on the CV90, the technology means a smoother ride and a reduction in fatigue -- important factors on the battlefield. The reduced vertical motion also increases the gunner's probability of finding and hitting targets.

The suspension system usually operates on carbon-fiber racing cars weighing less than a ton, but engineers at BAE Systems have cleverly adapted it to use on heavy tracked vehicles, some weighing as much as 40+ tons. In recent trials, a CV90 powered by a high-torque V8 diesel engine and fitted with Active Damping set a new speed record on a rough terrain course, beating the Main Battle Tanks (MBTs).

"Adapting the Active Damping system for the first time from a lightweight car to a heavy tracked vehicle such as the CV90 was a unique challenge for us," said Dan Lindell, CV90 Platform Manager at BAE Systems, "but this advanced technology will deliver results to our customers in terms of vehicle performance and savings on the through-life costs, as well as providing real benefits to the front-line solider."

The CV90 is designed and built by BAE Systems in Sweden and is one of the largest families of armored combat vehicles. CV90 is currently used in countries such as Norway, Finland, and Denmark and has successfully performed in global operations including UN and NATO collaborations.

Source: BAE Systems

Published May 2015

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