Piston Power for the U.S. Army

Although the future of the internal combustion engine seems to becoming completely shrouded in a haze of CO2 or NOx (OK, both of those are generally invisible, but you know what I mean), with everything going electric, there is still potential life in exploding gas, as indicated by last week’s announcement by Cummins Inc. that it has executed a $47.4-million contract to develop and demonstrate a technically advanced engine for the next-gen U.S. combat vehicles.

Although the future of the internal combustion engine seems to becoming completely shrouded in a haze of CO2 or NOx (OK, both of those are generally invisible, but you know what I mean), with everything going electric, there is still potential life in exploding gas, as indicated by last week’s announcement by Cummins Inc. that it has executed a $47.4-million contract to develop and demonstrate a technically advanced engine for the next-gen U.S. combat vehicles.

Cummins

It is called the Advanced Combat Engine (ACE) project, and Cummins will be working with Achates Power, the firm that is working on opposed-piston engine technology.

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Cummins and Achates Power will be working to improve the performance, survivability, range, and fuel efficiency of ground combat vehicles.

Using existing Cummins combat vehicle engines as a baseline, they’re looking to reduce heat rejection by 21 percent, improving power density by more than 50 percent and reducing fuel use by some 13 percent.

David Johnson, president and CEO of Achates Power, describes the Multi-Cylinder Advanced Combat Engine Technology Demonstrator program as leading to “a superior engine for combat and tactical vehicles for the U.S. Army.”

ACE is part of a larger system that is being developed and coordinated by the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC).

Other powertrain technologies that are part of an integration and validation program that will be conducted by TARDEC’s Ground Vehicle Power and Mobility technology focus group include an integrated starter/generator, advanced combat transmission, and advanced thermal management system, and other components. The focus group will begin these activities in 2019.