Launched by TARDEC (U.S. Army’s Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center) in 2008, the FED’s (Fuel Efficient Ground Vehicle Demonstrator) primary objective has been to prepare the armed forces for the 21st century by staying ahead of alternatively-powered military vehicles. Taking their first serious step towards achieving that goal, the FED announced today the contracting of technology and engineering firm, Ricardo Inc., to spearhead the development of new light tactical vehicles. While perhaps news to civilian ears, the agreement actually represents phase two of Ricardo’s collaborative effort with TARDEC that is expected to materialize their conceptual visions of fuel-efficient combat machines.
“The FED project leverages Ricardo’s experience and success in supporting the development of a broad range of military vehicles over several years,” explained Paul Luskin, Ricardo’s chief program engineer for FED and vehicle engineering manager. “In particular, TARDEC has recognized Ricardo’s role on the Future Tactical Truck System (FTTS), in which we successfully implemented advanced technology into an innovative vehicle architecture.”
Understandably pleased to snag the biggest piece of government pie this side of a federal bailout, Ricardo’s Vehicle Product Group Director, Louis Infante said, “We are extremely pleased to be able to continue supporting TARDEC in its objective to increase the fuel efficiency of its vehicle fleets. The FED project represents an ideal application of Ricardo’s expertise in armored vehicle design and fuel efficiency improvements using our Total Vehicle Fuel Economy processes. We look forward to working with the government in developing a vehicle that will represent a large step forward in reducing life-cycle cost.”