New FED ALPHA is a Troop Carrier with an Eco Conscience

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Local Motors' XC2V, which has been selected by DARPA to replace the 27-year old Humvee, isn’t the only ongoing program in the US Army for new vehicles.

The US Army’s Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center, or TARDEC for short, has also awarded British engineering company Ricardo a contract to proceed with the testing phase of the Fuel Efficient Ground Vehicle Demonstrator (FED) program.

The FED program was initiated in late 2008 and its mission is to create a family of light tactical wheeled vehicles that will improve military vehicle technology, reduce fuel consumption and, thus, the country's dependence on oil.

“The FED ALPHA vehicle is the culmination of Ricardo’s total vehicle system methodology,” said Wes Scharmen, Ricardo’s chief program engineer for FED. “Each technology that made its way onto the vehicle was properly vetted to ensure that it aided in achieving the program goals of making a fuel efficient and creditable military vehicle.”

In July, the ALPHA was displayed for two days in the Pentagon's center courtyard. It has since successfully completed military testing at the US Army Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland.

The next step in the ALPHA's development is a test cycle with real-world type activities such as convoy, urban assault, cross-country and extended idle, the likes of which it will encounter on the battlefield.

Key to its further development will be the Aberdeen Test Center Roadway Simulator – the world’s largest automotive simulator that will test every aspect of the vehicle’s performance in a controlled laboratory environment.

The ALPHA will be on display at the 2011 AUSA Annual Meeting and Exposition that will take place at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington D.C. on October 10-12.


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