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General Dynamics to Upgrade RST Vehicle for U.S. Marine Corps Operational Evaluation

Category: Defence Industry

STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. - General Dynamics Land Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics, has received a $5.9 million agreement modification to upgrade its Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Targeting Vehicle (RST-V). The upgrade supports continued operational evaluation of the vehicle as a utility carrier, prime mover and electrical generator for various U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) applications. System capabilities will be demonstrated in a relevant operational environment in early 2006.

The original RST-V program objectives seek to exploit hybrid electric drive technology with innovations in electric-wheel motor drive, chassis design, power management and a patented folding suspension to provide a highly mobile, survivable, long-range reconnaissance vehicle that can be transported inside a V-22 Osprey. In transport mode, the RST-V is narrower than a jeep and has cargo capacity comparable to a HMMWV.

The RST-V's hybrid electric drive can provide on-board power generation as a battlefield power source. This system could complement or replace trailer and packaged power generators in many applications, thus improving deployability and reducing the footprint of USMC expeditionary and Joint Forces operations.

The vehicle's hybrid power system is designed to provide modular, flexible options. It allows the vehicle to be operated in several propulsion modes: battery, diesel electric, or hybrid. The system can be adapted to use a full spectrum of energy storage options, from a base diesel electric with no energy store, to ultra capacitors, to any battery chemistry. Previous USMC RST-V operational evaluations demonstrated the system's significant potential and utility to provide or support command and control on the move by using exportable power generated by its hybrid electric propulsion system.


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