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Next Generation Dynamometer and Military Equipment Testing Solutions Military Applications of Dynamometers and Heavy Equipment Testing Systems Better, Cheaper and Cleaner – The Army’s Big Challenge Keeping Up With Technology Testing Times: Choosing the Best System The Future of Military Equipment Testing

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Power Test, Inc. is an industry leader in the design, manufacture and sale of dynamometers, heavy equipment testing systems and related data acquisition and control systems. For over 40 years, Power Test has provided specialized test equipment to manufacturers, rebuild facilities and distributors in the mining, oil & gas, power generation, marine, trucking, construction, rail, and military markets in over 80 countries on six continents. Our headquarters and manufacturing operations are located in Sussex, WI with sales representatives worldwide.

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Next Generation Dynamometer and Military Equipment Testing Solutions Military Applications of Dynamometers and Heavy Equipment Testing Systems Better, Cheaper and Cleaner – The Army’s Big Challenge


Keeping Up With Technology Testing Times: Choosing the Best System The Future of Military Equipment Testing

Foreword 2 Tom Cropper, Editor

Military Applications of Dynamometers and Heavy Equipment Testing Systems


Power Test, Inc. Sponsored by

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Published by Global Business Media

Custom Engineered Solutions Ease of Use

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Recoverable Assets

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Switchboard: +44 (0)1737 850 939 Fax: +44 (0)1737 851 952 Email: info@globalbusinessmedia.org Website: www.globalbusinessmedia.org Publisher Kevin Bell

Better, Cheaper and Cleaner – 8 The Army’s Big Challenge Tom Cropper, Editor

Growth in the Market A Sustainable Future

Business Development Director Marie-Anne Brooks

In Conclusion

Editor Tom Cropper

Keeping Up With Technology

Senior Project Manager Steve Banks Advertising Executives Michael McCarthy Abigail Coombes Production Manager Paul Davies For further information visit: www.globalbusinessmedia.org The opinions and views expressed in the editorial content in this publication are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily represent the views of any organisation with which they may be associated. Material in advertisements and promotional features may be considered to represent the views of the advertisers and promoters. The views and opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily express the views of the Publishers or the Editor. While every care has been taken in the preparation of this publication, neither the Publishers nor the Editor are responsible for such opinions and views or for any inaccuracies in the articles.


James Butler, Staff Writer

Be Prepared A Collaborative Approach

Testing Times: Choosing the Best System


Jo Roth, Staff Writer

Money Worries Flexible, Mobile and Easy to Use Water Cooled versus Air-Cooled

The Future of Military Equipment Testing


Tom Cropper, Editor

New Advanced Vehicles Virtual Technology

References 18

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Foreword T

HE MILITARY is in a constant state of

need to be more mobile and flexible and inject greater

development. But as its reliance on technology

realism into the process by accurately emulating the

and electronics grows, so too does the importance

conditions in which they will be used.

of effective test and evaluation systems to ensure

With so many things to test, finding the right solution

new equipment is as reliable as possible before it

can be challenging. Jo Roth looks at the range

makes it to the front line.

of factors buyers should consider such as cost,

In our opening article, we hear from one of the

performance and reliability. For example, will they

leading developers of dynamometer engine test

go for air cooled or water cooled? And can flexible

systems – Power Test Dyno. They focus on a number

containerized systems really offer effective testing on

of their most successful projects to show how flexible

the move?

high performance test systems are delivering more and more value to end users.

Finally, we open up our scope to include the whole spectrum of equipment tests. From vehicles to

We will take a closer look at the key trends driving the

body armor, weapons and navigation systems, the

market where demand is healthy but requirements are

technology coming to market can be amazing. We’ll

changing. The rise of alternative fuels, self-drive cars

assess some of these and look at the lengths testing

and more sophisticated in-vehicle technology all pose

systems are going to ensure new equipment is the

different opportunities and challenges.

best it possibly can be.

James Butler then looks at the latest generation of test systems. As he discovers, there is a need to evolve the way in which vehicles are tested. Facilities

Tom Cropper Editor

Tom Cropper has produced articles and reports on various aspects of global business over the past 15 years. He has also worked as a copywriter for some of the largest corporations in the world, including ING, KPMG and the Zurich.



Military Applications of Dynamometers and Heavy Equipment Testing Systems Power Test, Inc.


ESTING OF military vehicle components has long been crucial to ensuring reliable operation in the field. As vehicle technology advances and as government initiatives seek greater vehicle operating efficiencies, vehicle component testing is even more important. “Military vehicles are commonly operated in conditions far more adverse than civilian vehicles. Any military vehicle could end up in a theater of operation, so it’s always been imperative that all the engine, transmission and chassis components are fully reliable,” said Shane Classen, senior project manager at Power Test, Inc., a manufacturer of dynamometers, heavy equipment testing systems and related data acquisition and control systems used by the militaries of nations throughout the world. “It’s also extremely important that those testing and data acquisition systems are easy to use, especially as vehicles become more advanced and as governments watch resources more closely,” added Classen, who spent 23 years in the U.S. Marine Corps before joining Power Test.

Today’s military vehicles are increasingly controlled by electronics. And systems to enable self-driving land vehicles with an even greater reliance on electronics are in testing stages. For example, a new generation of groundbased vehicles designed and manufactured by Oshkosh Defense is now in production. The vehicle features a General Motors diesel engine and Allison Transmission, but can be fitted with Oshkosh’s diesel-electric powertrain to improve fuel economy. All Oshkosh vehicles are tested on Power Test equipment before being delivered to military customers. Advances are also being made in vehicle fuel efficiency as military research is seeking ways to further reduce fuel requirements of groundbased vehicles and to lessen the dependence on diesel fuel, which is costly and logistically challenging in the field. Alternatives include hybrid electric engines and hydrogen fuel cells. “There are significant benefits to going electric,” notes Power Test’s Rob Kazmier. “Along with fuel savings and the alleviation of the risks and challenges of transporting diesel WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM | 3


Along with fuel savings and the alleviation of the risks and challenges of transporting diesel fuel, electric motors offer stealth benefits as well


fuel, electric motors offer stealth benefits as well. These products provide a significant reduction in noise, heat and exhaust generation that could alert an enemy or guide incoming thermaltargeted missiles.” No matter what the research focus, test systems such as those manufactured by Power Test bring efficiencies to the process. “With a multi-axle chassis dynamometer designed for military vehicles, you can test a diesel-powered vehicle and then immediately test a vehicle with an alternative power system in laboratory conditions allowing fully repeatable tests that simulate real driving conditions,” Kazmier said. “You don’t need to have a driver running the vehicles up and down hills at a proving ground, so it’s a lot more efficient. And because the testing is done in a lab, test conditions can be perfectly controlled to compare different vehicle efficiencies or capabilities.”

Custom Engineered Solutions Through its Engineered Solutions division, Power Test custom-manufactures test equipment such as its multi-axle chassis dynamometers to the needs of customers such as Oshkosh Corp, whose employees use them for break-in and power verification of every military vehicle that comes off its line. Water brake, eddy current, or AC regenerative versions are available. The Engineered Solutions division also designed a system for a customer who sought a single machine to test any cross-drive transmission found in military vehicles. The 4 | WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM

solution was the X-2000 Cross Drive — an extremely versatile cross drive dynamometer. The machine features up to 2,000 HP continuous input power capacity; precise input and output speed and torque control; shifting, braking, and steering servo actuators; locked rotor and clutched output absorbers and in-line torque measurement for all rotating connection points. The system was provided with mounting kits to test cross drive transmissions found in military vehicles ranging from the M-1-2A Abrams tank to the M113 Armored Personnel Carrier.

Ease of Use Beyond research and end-of-line testing by equipment manufacturers, Power Test works closely with remanufacturing depots on military bases around the world, where ease of use is an important factor in testing equipment and data acquisition. “A serviceman assigned to a depot is likely unfamiliar with the equipment,” Classen noted. “The military vehicle maintenance scenario is very different from that on the civilian side,” Classen said. “While employees of maintenance facilities in the civilian world tend to have many years of experience, enlisted servicemen assigned to handle vehicle testing and repair are generally younger and change duty stations every two to three years.” That means testing systems must be easy to learn and operate, as well as reliable in their results. “A military testing and repair shop needs to have total confidence in the vehicles they’re



sending back into use,” Classen said. “When we’re designing testing systems, we need to make sure a younger, less experienced serviceman can conduct testing as reliably as a seasoned person.” Also different from the civilian world is the military’s need to receive new and repaired vehicles ready for full use – without an inuse break-in period. Power Test’s premier dynamometer systems fulfill the break-in process by simulating all of the operating conditions the vehicle could face, and provide field-ready vehicles right out of the shop. The break-in is a critical part of the testing process that, if not done correctly, could lead to a vehicle being out of commission and a serviceman out of action. “We want everything to go exactly as planned, which is another reason we design our testing systems to be easy to use,” Classen added. One way that’s done is by having a common software platform across all types of testing systems. “A serviceman whose duty includes use of a dynamometer is likely to have a similar duty upon being transferred to a new station, but might be working with equipment to test different components. With the common software platform we provide, he or she can quickly get up to speed at a new station, working on different kinds of vehicles or different components. It doesn’t matter if they’re working on an engine, transmission, chassis dynamometer or hydraulic test stand; within 30 minutes, the serviceman would be able to fully run the testing himself.” Along with wheeled and track ground vehicles, military depots use Power Test’s equipment

for testing components on ships with power systems up to 10,000 HP, and aircraft, including unmanned systems.

Recoverable Assets With operations throughout the world, the ability to easily establish engine or transmission testing in remote areas is required by the U.S. military and armed forces of other nations. Power Test’s fully containerized and transportable engine and transmission testing units respond to that need, and allow easy recovery of assets after deployment. The U.S. Army and Marines have utilized 20-foot containerized engine and transmission dynamometers in war zones since the first Gulf War. “A containerized unit fits in the back of a C130 for easy transportation into and out of fields of operation,” Kazmier said. Power Test’s Wayne Mohler noted the containerized systems eliminate the need for a building and can be operated in locations that lack basic utilities – such as the middle of a desert. Power Test’s Fully Contained Transportable Trans Dyno and the FCT Engine Dynamometer System each come ready to use in its own shipping container that doubles as a testing facility. It contains everything needed for testing, including all the testing components and a sound-insulated room for the data acquisition and control system. The FCT Dynamometer System includes Power Test’s 50X series dynamometer for WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM | 5


Power Test’s Fully Contained Transportable Trans Dyno and the FCT Engine Dynamometer System each come ready to use in its own shipping container that doubles as a testing facility


testing electric motors, gasoline and higher speed diesel applications, with power ranges from 50-1,000 HP and speeds to 6,000 RPM. The FCT Transmission Dynamometer System uses AIDCO’s 450H Transmission Test Stand, the Model 265 Valve Body Test Stand, and the AIDCO ESC electric shift control. AIDCO is a Power Test brand. The test container can quickly be relocated by simply disconnecting the non-spill hydraulic hoses and power extension cables. Both the engine and transmission containerized units are paired with a containerized support unit for power generation, water recirculation, cooling, heat exchange and water holding. While the containerized units allow armed forces to retain the value of the equipment, other initiatives seek to reduce operating costs or use of water, which is often an integral part of component testing.

Sustainability Water shortages in some areas and general government sustainability concerns regarding conservation are also issues for dynamometer and testing system manufacturers. “Conserving water is very important to the current administration and to branches of the U.S. military,” said Mohler. “The U.S. National Guard, for example, uses water-free chassis dynamometers for testing multi-axle vehicles.” Compared to a water brake chassis dynamometer, an air-cooled, water-free eddy current dynamometer uses no water and significantly less electricity. That eliminates the need for a water supply or a water recirculation 6 | WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM

system. The eddy current system uses just enough electricity to create the electrical field needed for the test. This is in contrast to a water brake system that requires constant power to run the pumps. Reduced energy costs were not the initial focus of one nation’s navy that was seeking upgraded testing equipment, but Power Test came up with a solution that would recoup virtually all the power used in the testing of hydraulic pumps and motors. As part of a base renovation project, basic hydraulic pump and motor test stands were specified. The navy needed one unit for testing ship components and another for testing submarine components. Its existing system was old and crude, without variable speed, safety guards or other features. “It was really a dangerous system and had very limited capability,” Kazmier said. Along with increased safety, the navy wanted to implement a fully capable testing system. “There was a significant variety of hydraulic components they wanted to test, so flexibility was key,” Kazmier said. Power Test proposed a solution that would not only provide all the flexibility the navy needed for component testing, but one that would also result in a significant reduction in energy demand. The HTS-100x2, dual 100-HP regenerative system, developed through Power Test’s Engineered Solutions division, recoups and reuses a majority of the energy in its operation. While it wasn’t an originally specified feature, the navy saw the energy savings as a bonus to the testing capabilities it was seeking.



“Our solution was a safe product with excellent flexibility, offering them complete control of any variable speed for the load or input,” Kazmier said. Along with the containerized systems and custom solutions mentioned above, testing systems commonly used by military original equipment manufacturers and at repair depots include: Engine Dynamometers – Power Test’s PTX Water Brake Dynamometer is used in multiple U.S. Defense Office of Logistics facilities, dozens of U.S. Army National Guard facilities, U.S. Marine Corps facilities and private industry repair depots that support the U.S. military via engine rebuild contracts. It is available in 500 HP and 1,000 HP configurations. The system features a through-shaft design that allows either end of the dynamometer to be driven and for dynamometer mounting systems to be attached and used. EC-Series Chassis Dynamometers – This heavy-duty chassis dynamometer features aircooled eddy current load absorbers, therefore requiring no water or cooling system. Transmission Test Stands – The AIDCO 450E transmission test stand supports testing of all Allison transmissions – commonly used in military vehicles, including some militaryspecific transmissions. Numerous military and private-sector repair shops use the AIDCO system. AIDCO’s Electronic Shift Control is used in conjunction with the transmission test stand. All Power Test dynamometers and test stands interface with PowerNet 3.0 data acquisition and control packages.

Reduced energy costs were not the initial focus of one nation’s navy that was seeking upgraded testing equipment, but Power Test came up with a solution that would recoup virtually all the power used in the testing of hydraulic pumps and motors



Better, Cheaper and Cleaner – The Army’s Big Challenge Tom Cropper, Editor

How commercial, tactical and environmental demands are shaping the direction of the dynamometer testing market.

There is real scope for growth in the testing market with demand for new systems and new testing methods


YNAMOMETER ENGINE tests play a vital part in military operations. However, producing reliable systems which cater to the unique demands of the army is far from straightforward. In this article we’ll assess the state and direction of the market and see what key factors will shape its future direction. Demand for new combat vehicles is healthy. A report from Visiongain estimated the global armored vehicle market at $12.4bn in 2015. In recent years, growth has been driven by conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan but, now that troops have withdrawn, the focus is switching to other types of priority vehicles1. Another report from Defence IQ paints a similarly robust picture. “The outlook for the armoured vehicle market is more compelling than it has been since the 2008 economic downturn triggered widespread anxiety and the post Iraq hangover that resulted in sluggish demand and supply2,” it states. The army continues to develop advanced and sophisticated vehicles. For example, in 2015 General Motors signed a multi-year agreement to provide a fuel cell military testing vehicle for the Army Tank Automotive Research and Development Centre (TARDEC). It has several reasons to be interested in fuel cells: they are quieter than the internal combustion engine, require less fuel and can be used for generating electricity in the field3. The army is also developing self-drive options to minimize the risk to personnel on the ground. For example, a golf buggy style vehicle can drive itself into a hostile environment and complete a mission without any involvement from human controllers4. Such developments create new requirements for vehicle testing technology. Self-drive vehicles, for example, heighten the requirement for total reliability in all conditions. Before deploying a new


piece of equipment in the battlefield, commanders need to be 100% confident that it will operate reliably. Closing the gap between theoretical capabilities shown in the testing grounds and actual performance in the field is a major priority.

Growth in the Market There is real scope for growth in the testing market with demand for new systems and new testing methods. The pressure on budgets remains, but the world still faces a highly diverse range of threats whether it’s the rise of ISIS, the threat of Russia or ongoing issues in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. That climate creates an environment of opportunity. Indeed, budget constraints further increase the need for good equipment tests. Money is tight and the armed forces need to drive down the total cost of operations. To do that they need the best testing systems and procedures to ensure new equipment is as reliable and effective as possible. The overall global dynamometer market is in a healthy position. According to a recent study by Industry ARC, the market is expected to reach $1.2bn by 2020 – a CAGR of 7%. Much of that growth is likely to be driven by developments in both the light and heavy automotive environment, as well as the growth of electrical cars. The military market remains a niche, but highly important and growing market.

A Sustainable Future Aside from financial and technical influences, the market will be driven by the need to inject greater sustainability into operations. For years, the army has been struggling with the size of its carbon footprint. A recent study found that the US army consumed 90 million barrels of oil in 20135, accounting for the equivalent of 80% of the US


Federal Government’s total emissions. This does not include the carbon generated by fires caused by bombs or even used in training simulations. Until recently, the Pentagon had been exempt from carbon commitments, but that changed after the Paris Summit. The pressure is on to make dramatic improvements within a relatively short space of time. One of the biggest issues is the use of water. The US and the world at large risks falling into a severe water crisis. As the Guardian reported recently, a shortage of fresh water is likely to spark the next big worldwide crisis6. In the US, the issue is particularly critical. The recent drought in Flint Michigan has made headlines, but the problem goes much deeper. Data from the Environmental Protection Agency suggest that only nine of the 50 US states are reporting safe reserves of water7. The army is looking to reduce its use of water as well as fuel with every aspect of operations coming under scrutiny. Reports suggest the US army is evaluating 60 technologies which reduce water and fuel consumption8. Dynamometer testing has a role to play, which is why the army is investing in air cooled systems which eliminate the need for water. These

use less energy and have fewer components resulting in lighter logistical demands – a win on multiple fronts.

In Conclusion The military is entering a challenging period. New threats from Russia, ISIS and the rising influence of China demonstrate the need for a strong, well equipped fighting force. As the nature of warfare changes, militaries will need to adapt – that will mean new tactics and new equipment. Developers must continually cast their eyes forward to see what future demands will be. At the same time, tighter budgets heighten the emphasis on effective and reliable equipment. Laboratory tests need to be as close to the real thing as possible. With armies operating in harsh and remote environments, developing equipment which can maintain high performance in all conditions is critical, but by no means straightforward. Finally, the emphasis on sustainability means the army has to do all this while watching its carbon footprint. It has to be better, cheaper and cleaner. The margin for error is slimmer than ever.



Keeping Up With Technology James Butler, Staff Writer

The army is investing heavily in new technologies. Testing solutions are working hard to keep pace.

Boots melted in the heat, half of the helicopters were grounded and the Challenger II Tanks, which were to be the spearhead of any British incursion into Iraq, ground to a halt


N 2001 the British army staged training exercises in Oman as it prepared for deployment in Afghanistan. The results were alarming: vehicles floundered in the sand and key pieces of equipment failed to cope with the intense heat. The entire exercise became a case study about what happens when you fail to prepare properly.

Be Prepared As the Independent reported at the time, the list of problems was vast9. Boots melted in the heat, half of the helicopters were grounded and the Challenger II Tanks, which were to be the spearhead of any British incursion into Iraq, ground to a halt because of the wrong type of sand. The army had been planning this operation for four years. Even so, it made basic errors. Planners got the temperature in Oman wrong and failed to foresee problems caused by heat, sand and dust. They ignored advice from the 4th Armoured Brigade and refused to adapt the Challenger tanks to desert conditions. Such a change, they believed, would have been too expensive. The result – because of the ‘peculiar characteristics of the fine dust and sand’, tanks’ air filters became clogged after just a few hours and they ground to a halt. The exercise offers key lessons to the wider military. Failing to adapt equipment for use in particular conditions might save money in the short term, but it’s likely to prove extremely expensive overall. Every piece of equipment needs to be designed to function in the wide range of conditions it might face, be it extreme heat, cold, dust, bad weather or anything else. The good news is that those lessons have been learned. Today’s testing systems are far more comprehensive and involve a much wider range of parameters than ever before. In 2009, the US army started work on a new Ground Systems Power and Energy Laboratory


(GSPEL) at the Tank Automotive Research Development and Engineering Centre (TARDEC). To cope with the current and future demands of vehicle training, the army determined it needed a state-of-the-art facility the like of which did not exist anywhere else at the time. The aim of the facility is to test, optimize and integrate new technologies into vehicle design. Adaptations added to vehicles to cope with demands of the army’s most recent deployments – such as Afghanistan and Iraq – have increased weight, consumed power and taken up space. The test center will seek ways to incorporate some of these adaptations in a way which does not impact on engine performance or fuel consumption. In addition, it will also look at introducing new technologies such as advanced fuels or next generation engines. “The GSPEL is a bold statement by our nation’s army about its commitment to accelerating energy security,” said Jennifer Hitchcock head of TARDEC. “Making vehicle systems lighter and more efficient not only helps us reach our energy security goals, it also saves soldiers’ lives by reducing the number of soldiers we put in harm’s way to deliver energy. This lab will help us to accelerate the design, integration, and testing of new energy and fuel-saving technologies.” The project evolved over time and now includes state-of-the-art labs which can explore the integration of new technologies into vehicles design. Each will focus on a different area. For example, one will look at hybrid engines, another will focus on the development of batteries while another will work on the integration of alternative fuels. The center also includes 11 AC electrically regenerative dynamometers, a full size vehicle chamber with environmental controls for temperature, humidity and solar simulation. One of the world’s largest calorimeters tests engine coolers and transmission coolers while it can also test for dust media insertion10.


Meanwhile, the MOD’s proving ground at Millbrook has also revolutionized the way in which equipment is put through its paces. Its Engine Technology Centre is designed to replicate every condition equipment might encounter, from hot and humid environments to dust, sand, salt and spray. They can control everything from airflow to speed, heat and humidity. They can measure factors such as the behavior of fuel in all sorts of conditions, the durability of engines or axles when presented with extremely adverse conditions and much more. Combined with their outdoor military vehicle proving ground, they are widening the scope of parameters that can be tested.

A Collaborative Approach Developing new test facilities and solutions requires a high degree of collaboration between the user and supplier. Each branch of the military has complex demands and every new test system will have different requirements in terms of power output, end goals, energy use, logistics and much more. Collaboration is crucial and that gives those companies who can offer the dynamism and flexibility to react proactively to client demands a distinct advantage. Experience is also useful – buyers are more likely to be comfortable working with those firms they have worked with before and

who can offer a clear demonstration of success. In many ways it is about developing a fleet of services and products and being able to tailor these to the specific requirements of the customer. At Power Test Inc., for example, they’ve engineered products with customization specifically in mind. The military has made use of its engine dynamometers, chassis dynamometers, test stands and containerized dynamometers for many years. Key to the success has been the ability to take these different operating systems and tailor them to the demands of a client. Their customized engineering team can work with clients, assessing their dynamometer requirements, delivering an appropriate design and manufacturing specific components. Having the experience within the industry also allows Power Test Inc. to identify solutions which meet client requirements in ways they might not previously have imagined – for example, by delivering energy efficiency gains which the client may not have previously have been aware of. The market is moving both in terms of demands coming from the client side and technology. New vehicles, fuels and equipment create more diverse testing requirements to which developers need to adapt.



Testing Times: Choosing the Best System Jo Roth, Staff Writer

With so much riding on the quality and reliability of military equipment, the choice of test system is crucial.

The first issue concerning buyers will be money. Military commanders live in austere times. Money is tight and budgets are falling


YNAMOMETERS HAVE been used by the army for decades. Today they play an important role across the manufacturing and production process, from domestic test centers to mobile test facilities supporting the army in areas such as Afghanistan and Iraq. Indeed, as technology increases the army’s reliance on electronics, they are becoming more important than ever before, particularly with operating budgets coming under pressure. However, the exact type of system used will depend on a range of factors. Getting this decision right has never been more important, as mistakes can cost money and put lives at risk. Before deciding on the best system to use, though, commanders need to take a number of factors into account including money, logistics and much more.

Money Worries The first issue concerning buyers will be money. Military commanders live in austere times. Money is tight and budgets are falling. A 2015 report from Ian Kearns and Denitsa Raynova found that, despite promises to reverse cuts, six NATO countries including the UK and Germany planned to cut defense spending in 2015. France, the other big spender in Europe, had remained static11. Since then the UK has pledged to increase defense spending and to meet NATO’s stated goal of spending 2% of GDP on defense. Even so, funds are likely to remain tight for the foreseeable future. The US, meanwhile, continues to spend more on its military than any other country. Nonetheless, the government has been cutting back. In November, Congress agreed a deal to cut $5bn from the defense budget12. Conversely, though, China and Russia continue to increase spending as they seek to build up their capacity. So, what does this more constrained environment mean? On the one hand the military 12 | WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM

will be more reluctant to spend on those systems which can’t demonstrate value, but on the other they still have to invest to ensure they can meet the challenges of future wars. In November 2015, for example, the UK announced a commitment to boost spending on military equipment13. Armies will need to generate savings by ensuring new equipment is up to standard and cut down on ongoing costs such as maintenance and repair. In the past the army has wasted millions of dollars on equipment which has broken down or struggled to cope in real world conditions. For example, back in 1981, NATO Abrams Tanks experienced problems because NATO’s standard fuel F54 struggled in low temperatures. Diesel fuel has a high paraffin content which prevents it from flowing at low temperatures14. It was possible to fix the issue by blending F54 diesel fuel with aviation kerosene turbine fuel. The trouble was, this burned at a higher temperature and increased fuel consumption. Today, the problems are more likely to be associated with fighting in desert environments. For example, during Desert Storm in the 90s, the army suffered a number of engine failures due to sand ingression15. Extreme heat is also a problem. In the sweltering conditions of the Middle East, the army needs to be confident that engines will continue to function at their maximum capacity. Any risk of failure or a reduction in performance can have severe implications for the safety of personnel in the field. Closing the gap between test conditions and the real world is crucial. A test facility must be able to measure performance in a range of conditions. It will need to cater for dust, heat, impact damage and much more. Tests must show much more than just how equipment fares in the relatively benign environment of the lab, but also how it will perform in the harshest and most adverse of conditions. To do this the army needs firstly to second guess what environments it may face



in the future and secondly to develop facilities capable of replicating them.

Flexible, Mobile and Easy to Use Ongoing deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq have strengthened the demand for mobile test facilities. These enable the forces to evaluate vehicles after repair to ensure they are performing to optimum level before they re-enter active service. Developers have responded by producing containerized test units capable of providing a fully equipped engine test facility within one or two containers. These can be readily transported on the back of trucks to be used in the field. They can operate in remote locations and can be recovered easily after deployment. The key to these facilities is that they are mobile, easily assembled, capable of being recovered and easy to operate. The chances are that these mobile systems will need to be used by multiple personnel with varying levels of experience. They need to be intuitive and usable with only minimal training.

Water Cooled versus Air-Cooled A final, but increasingly important consideration is sustainability. The army is coming under pressure to improve energy efficiency and to reduce its use of resources such as water. This may encourage

buyers to move towards air-cooled over watercooled systems. These require no water, but the benefits go further than just that. Compared with water cooled systems, they offer reliable steady state control from zero speed to maximum RPM. The entire system offers a more cost effective form of operation. Installation, repair and maintenance costs are lower; also, they use less energy as they only need enough electricity to generate a field whereas a water cooled system involves a constant circulation of water. The more comprehensive tests are, the more confident the end buyer will be when making a purchasing decision. When looking at any new piece of equipment, buyers will need to consider the full range of conditions they are likely to operate under and assess how accurately any tests they have replicate conditions. Comprehensive testing can deliver value both by reducing the risk of failure and also providing more detailed data on the expected performance of equipment in all conditions. For example, how long will engines last in hostile environments? Will there be any drop off in engine performance and power in severe weather conditions? Ultimately it’s about choosing a system which does the job – one which delivers equipment that is fit for purpose, saves money and operates more sustainably.



The Future of Military Equipment Testing Tom Cropper, Editor

The army is buying and developing increasingly sophisticated technology, but how can it make sure it works in the real world?

Vehicle tests will need to cater to a wide range of vehicle types and forms of power. They will switch between petrol, electric, hybrid and alternative fuels to accurately replicate the conditions likely to be faced


HE WITHDR AWAL of forces from Afghanistan and Iraq marked the end of one of the most intense periods of action for Western Powers since the Second World War. Now, as they move into the future, they face the task of adapting to fresh threats and integrating new technologies. Testing this new equipment will be increasingly important.

New Advanced Vehicles Throughout the deployment in Iraq and Afghanistan, combat vehicles evolved as the threat changed. Early on, the trend was for lightweight and mobility. The rising threat of IEDs, though, heightened the emphasis on heavy armor. Vehicles such as the Mastiff provided the heavy duty protection for troops while the V-Shape of the Foxhound provided better blast protection for lighter armored troop carriers. In developing the next generation of armored combat vehicles the aim is to have a best of both worlds solution – a heavily armored vehicle which can also match the performance of lighter skinned alternatives. The way vehicles are fueled is also changing. Despite a relatively high price of $26 per gallon – especially when set against low oil and gas prices – the US military, in particular, has been investing millions of dollars in so-called green fuels16. According to Navigant Research, US spending on its alternative fuel fleet of vehicles will hit $926 million by 2020 – up from the 2013 level of £435million17. Spending on electric vehicles, meanwhile, is expected to grow rapidly. The report also suggested the military will purchase 92,400 electric vehicles for nontactical purposes by 202018. Overall it will invest $2.4bn in hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) and plug-in electric vehicles (PEV). The high cost has attracted some criticism, but the army clearly feels that these new vehicles are worth it. In the long run, they believe they will save money, perform better and cut energy


use. In August 2015, the BAE Systems Hybrid Electric Drive successfully completed 2,000 miles of testing. This uses a combination of an electrical and internal combustion engine to improve fuel efficiency. According to BAE Systems, a typical 70-ton class truck would use 14,700 gallons of water over a 180-day campaign. However, their hybrid electric drive could cut that down to less than 9,00019. The nature of warfare is also changing. Threats are unpredictable and can include both state and non-state forces. As the use of RPGs has shown, even relatively primitive fighting forces can have an impact against a superior army by using surprising military tactics. The Syrian campaigns have also seen the transition to a lower impact form of intervention – one based on air power rather than ground troops and in which drones and driverless vehicles are becoming more important. Future warfare will be more remote, automated and reliant on electronics. All of these developments mean the need for effective equipment testing solutions has never been more urgent. Vehicle tests will need to cater to a wide range of vehicle types and forms of power. They will switch between petrol, electric, hybrid and alternative fuels to accurately replicate the conditions likely to be faced. Much of this relies on more advanced testing facilities which can vary temperature and ambient controls to simulate weather conditions. Effects such as salt corrosion can be monitored as can factors such as extreme heat and cold. By working closely with militaries, developers of equipment tests are upgrading both their equipment and their processes to ensure the test environment is as close as possible to the real thing.

Virtual Technology Technology is playing its part in providing more and more information. For example, while



manufacturers do everything in their power to equip a vehicle to be as safe as possible, very little is known about what actually happens to soldiers in the event of a crash or an explosion. They face different risks and the way in which they sit in a vehicle – complete with their uniform, equipment and body armor – can impact on the results of crash tests. The effects of explosions in the real world are also extremely difficult to reproduce.. To help them do this, researchers at the University of Michigan are turning to virtual soldiers. A three dimensional laser scanner captures a perfect image of the whole body. It is painless and the result can be seen instantly on the screen. Around 8,000 scans were captured of soldiers – both male and female – wearing everything from basic underwear to full battle gear. “One of the things we’ve been able to quantify is the really important effects of the body armor,” says Professor Mathew Reed of the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. “This is something people hadn’t studied before. What we’re able to show is that seat design needs to change in order to accommodate these soldiers wearing the body armor.”

For example, the armor shifts a soldier forward in his seat, which effectively makes it shorter. Seats could be entirely redesigned to be much more suitable for the needs of a soldier in full battle dress. All the information from these virtual scans can be combined with conventional crash test data to create a much more complete picture than would otherwise have been the case. Work is also being carried out to simulate the number one danger for military personnel – under body explosions from IEDs. A dummy is dropped from a tower and stopped suddenly to simulate the impact from an underbody explosion. This helps to study how well a seat can protect a driver and provides better data, which can be fed through to influence the future designs of military vehicles and seats. From a vehicle test perspective, the future holds numerous challenges and opportunities. Money may be tight, but that doesn’t mean investment in new equipment is going to dry up. With new and highly sophisticated equipment being deployed, the army needs new and equally sophisticated testing technologies to keep up with demand.




Visiongain Report: https://www.visiongain.com/Report/1511/Armoured-Vehicle-Market-Report-2015-2025

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Global Armoured Vehicle Report: http://www.slideshare.net/AndrewElwell1/global-armoured-vehicles-market-report-2015

GM to Provide Fuel Cell Vehicle to Army for Testing: http://www.autonews.com/article/20151111/OEM05/151119956/gm-to-provide-fuel-cell-vehicle-to-army-for-testing




Army Unveils High Tech Self Driving Golf Buggies: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3350359/Army-unveils-hi-tech-self-driving-GOLF-BUGGIES-Military-says-smart-vehicles-drive-dangerous-areas-first.html

The Pentagon’s Massive Carbon Footprint: http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/07/23/72279/

Why Fresh Water Shortages Will Cause the Next Global Crisis: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/mar/08/how-water-shortages-lead-food-crises-conflicts




America’s Water Crisis Goes Beyond Flint, Michigan: http://www.cnbc.com/2016/03/24/americas-water-crisis-goes-beyond-flint-michigan.html Global Defence Technology: http://www.naval-technology.com/features/featureglobal-defence-technology-issue-55-4671372/featureglobal-defence-technology-issue-55-4671372-2.html

Army’s Equipment Exposed as Unfit to Fight Desert War: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/armys-equipment-exposed-as-unfit-to-fight-desert-war-171614.html



Designing a Unique Lab: http://www.swri.org/3pubs/ttoday/Spring09/Vehicles.htm


NATO Defence Spending Falls Despite Promises to Reverse Cuts: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-31619553

Congress Reaches Deal to cut $5bn from Defence Budget: http://www.stripes.com/news/congress-reaches-deal-to-cut-5-billion-from-defense-budget-1.376792 12


UK to Boost Spending on Military Equipment: http://www.wsj.com/articles/u-k-to-boost-spending-on-military-equipment-1448236861


The Reality of the Single Fuel Concept: http://www.alu.army.mil/alog/issues/MarApr05/reality.html


Early Performance Assessment of Bradley and Abrams: http://www.gao.gov/assets/220/215553.pdf


As Pentagon Invests in Green Fuels, Critics Focus on Cost: http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-green-military-20131118-story.html

17 Military Alternative Fuel Fleet Spending to hit $926 Million by 2020: http://www.environmentalleader.com/2013/07/08/military-alternative-fuel-fleet-spending-to-hit-926m-by-2020/ 18 US Military to Spend $2-4bn on Electric Vehicles by 2020: http://www.climatechangenews.com/2013/11/07/us-military-to-spend-2-4-billion-on-electric-vehicles-by-2020/

Innovation Drive: http://www.army-technology.com/features/featureinnovation-drive-how-new-engine-technology-is-transforming-military-vehicles-4346630/ 19


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