U.S. Army Rings In 100 Years Of Cooperation With SAE And Michigan Automotive Industry

From WWI to Operation Iraqi Freedom, Michigan Plays Vital Role in Supporting Troops with Advanced Military Vehicle Technology

DETROIT, Apr. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC), along with its National Automotive Center (NAC), will demonstrate its ongoing commitment to industry partnership at the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) 2005 World Congress, April 11-14 at Cobo Hall in downtown Detroit, the birthplace of the modern Automotive Industry. As SAE commemorates 100 years of working with the Army, TARDEC and the NAC recognize the countless innovations developed in conjunction with the Michigan automotive industry and academia -- from the rugged, agile military trucks used during World War I to the vehicle armor, alternative fuel sources and unmanned robotic systems currently used in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Brigadier General William Lenaers, Commanding General of the U.S. Army TACOM Life Cycle Management Command in Warren, Mich., stated that the technology transfer between the military and commercial industry has significantly impacted the effectiveness of our troops stationed here and overseas.

"From the moment the first M3 tank rolled off the assembly lines in April of 1941, our mission of providing Soldier support has always been accomplished through partnerships with America's automotive industry and academia," said General Lenaers. "Being in the heart of the automotive engineering capitol of the world -- Michigan -- gives the Army a distinct advantage in providing the best military vehicle technologies possible."

"The benefits to working with industry allow the Army to increase fuel efficiency, reduce ownership and operating costs, reduce emissions, improve safety and enhance vehicle performance," said Dr. Richard McClelland, director of TARDEC. "The end result is longer lasting vehicles with higher performance and better fuel efficiency -- for both the consumer and the Warfighter."

Specific examples of vehicle innovations developed in concert between the Army and Michigan's automotive industry include Antilock Braking Systems, fuel cells, night vision technology, collision protection systems, and advanced vehicle intelligence, reliability and analysis technologies.

The Army at SAE

TARDEC's three displays will showcase its work with SAE to enhance Soldier survivability, safety and mobility for the near and long term. In the main booth (#701), TARDEC will showcase the progression from the World War II Army Jeep to today's HMMWV, outfitted with an add-on Armor Survivability Kit, which is currently saving lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. TARDEC will also highlight various unmanned systems -- or robots -- currently in theater, including the Omni-Directional Inspection System (ODIS) and PackBot. A new Daylight Standoff Warning Device (DSWD) -- which recently shipped to Iraq and Southwest Asia -- will demonstrate how Soldiers can warn motorists to slow down or stop at vehicle checkpoints from up to 500 feet away. Also on display is Santos(TM), a realistic Digital Human model capable of intelligent behavior developed by the University of Iowa's Virtual Soldier Research program. Santos(TM) has the ability to see, move, touch and grasp like a real human, which provides engineers the opportunity to investigate attributes of weapon systems and vehicles without using the real product.

The NAC, Quantum Fuel System Technologies Worldwide, Inc. (NASDAQ: QTWW) and California Motors LLC will unveil the MP Hybrid vehicle platform. The MP Hybrid is a modular, easily configurable light duty vehicle platform designed to support a variety of homeland defense, military, and commercial missions. Included with the MP Hybrid is an armor replacement body with added ballistic performance, developed by Klune Industries, as well as a 5 kW Auxiliary Power Unit (APU), a compact electrical power generating system developed by Advanced Propulsion Technologies, Inc.

Booth #533 will showcase TARDEC efforts to enhance Soldier survivability, safety and vehicle reliability. TARDEC engineers are developing and applying engineering-fidelity simulations to evaluate vehicle designs, advanced technologies and proposed product improvements throughout a vehicle's life cycle. Specific developments in the booth include a Human Factors Mini-Motion Base Simulator, which studies the effects of vehicle motions on Soldiers, and a Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV) Leaf Spring Prototype, which promises to reduce overall vehicle weight and improve fuel economy.

Booth #626 will highlight a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) between TARDEC and Lightening Motor Sports (LMS) to explore synergies between the auto racing industry and military vehicles. Through this CRADA, TARDEC is looking at ways to streamline and improve their simulation-based testing capabilities to assess the best technology available in a low risk, low cost environment, thus increasing the safety, endurance, reliability and operational potential of future military vehicles.

TARDEC, headquartered at the Detroit Arsenal, Warren, Michigan, is the nation's laboratory for advanced military automotive technology. TARDEC's mission is to research, develop, engineer, leverage, and integrate advanced technology into ground systems and support equipment throughout the life cycle. TARDEC's 1,100 associates develop and maintain vehicles for all U.S. Armed Forces, many federal agencies and more than 60 foreign countries. TARDEC pushes the state-of-the-art in technology areas of Survivability, Mobility, Intelligent Systems and Maneuver Support and Sustainment. TARDEC leads several Army Future Force science and technology efforts -- collaborating with the Army's combat developers -- to ensure we field robust equipment that meets aggressive cost, schedule and performance standards.

TARDEC's National Automotive Center is the Army's official link to commercial industry, academia and government in developing dual-use automotive technologies that meet the needs of both defense and commercial industries. Together, they lead the way in providing our Soldiers vehicles and vehicle technologies that will increase survivability and ensure mobility on the battlefield while reducing design, manufacturing, operations and maintenance costs.

CONTACT: Scott Sadlon of TARDEC/NAC, +1-703-253-0944; or Don Jarosz of
U.S. Army TACOM, +1-586-574-8820

Web site: http://tardec.army.mil/




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