The future of military all-terrain vehicles may be changing to a more environmentally friendly and fuel efficient design. New technology is making the Aggressor Alternative Mobility Vehicle (AMV) a reality. The AMV, also commonly referred to as the Aggressor, is around the size of a WWII-era Jeep with three times the torque of a Dodge Viper, yet resembling a larger futuristic all-terrain vehicle. Operating on a fuel cell system allows the AMVs to operate efficiently and effectively with only water produced as emissions.
The AMVs are not only lightweight, battlefield-ready mobility vehicles, they also operate silently providing high mobility for stealth missions while also providing the ability to export high quality electricity to power a wide range of electronic devices on the battlefield. The electricity could power crucial actions such as surveillance, target acquisition, and telecommunications. The AMV would combine the ability to perform crucial actions with the ability to get soldiers where they need to go, when they need to be there.
This type of all-terrain, alternative fuel cell vehicle is not out of the ordinary for the military forces currently deployed. The military is currently operating numerous lightweight, alternative fuel vehicles, such as militarized electric bikes, ATVs, motorcycles, and small utility vehicles.
Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide Inc. conceptualized and constructed the AMV specifically for the US Army’s Tank-Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center’s National Automotive Center (TARDEC-NAC). The hydrogen fuel cell is protected by the Quantum’s TriShield Type IV impact-resistant composite and carbon fiber storage tanks. The TriShield construction protects the tanks against bullets and shrapnel. The hydrogen fuel cell also allows for greatly reduced thermal signature, which makes the AMV much more difficult for infrared sensors to detect and tract.
Even though the AMV was originally produced to be a high-power all-terrain vehicle for the military, the AMV is also capable of performing a variety of tasks including commercial applications. The fuel cells were designed to be integrated into vehicles, and an Energy Storage Module which allows for either a hybrid series or parallel mode of operation. Current construction allows the AMV to accelerate approximately twice as fast, from zero to 40 mph in under four seconds, as comparable all-terrain vehicles with unmodified gasoline or diesel engines. The AMV can reach speeds in excess of 80 mph.
The size of the AMV varies by what the vehicle will be used for. The Aggressor AMV demonstration model has an 85 inch wheelbase and an overall length of 140 inches. In some variants of the AMV, the overall length is up to 200 inches long. The AMV, designed for use on the battlefield, is 66 inches wide and 60 inches high. The ground clearance is 10.1 inches and has 6 inches of suspension to ensure proper agility for intense off-road operations.
The one major obstacle standing between the AMV and use on the battlefields is the logistics surrounding transporting hydrogen for the fuel cells. To offset this issue, Quantum developed a few strategies for the military to consider. One strategy involves generating hydrogen using renewable sources. The renewable sources might include solar cells which electrolyze water to produce hydrogen, compress it, store it, and make it available to refuel the hydrogen cells. Another strategy would be to pre-fill hydrogen cell tanks and then package them, so that it would be easier for the military to transport the hydrogen and have it ready and available for use in the AMVs. The military is currently aiding with extensive testing, and is also interested in other variants of the AMV, which could include a diesel/electric hybrid model.