In a world first, tracked military vehicles are being upgraded with technology adapted from Formula One to improve handling and speed across the battlefield.
Engineers at BAE Systems have applied the new upgrade ‘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 per cent – taking a world class system to the next level, and leaving competitors behind.
First introduced into Formula One in the 1990s, the ‘Active Damping’ system works by sensing the speed of the vehicle and lay-out of the terrain ahead and responding by pressurising 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 armoured vehicles and subsequently reduce through-life repair costs for each vehicle, despite seeing each able to travel 30 – 40 per cent faster on rough terrain.
For the crew of a CV90, the technology means a smoother ride and a reduction in fatigue; an important factor 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 fibre racing cars weighing no more than 700kg, but engineers at BAE Systems have cleverly adapted it to use on heavy tracked vehicles, some weighing as much as 35 tonnes. In recent trials a CV90 fitted with active damping set a new speed record on a rough terrain course, beating the Main Battle Tanks (MBTs).
Dan Lindell, CV90 platform manager at BAE Systems, said: “Adapting the Active Damping system for the first time from a light weight car to a heavy tracked vehicle such as CV90 was a unique challenge for us, 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 armoured 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.