Gerotek taking CVED for another spin


Gerotek Test Facilities, part of the Armscor Defence Institutes, has been awarded a further tranche of financing for the testing of the combat vehicle electric drive (CVED) demonstrator. The payment follows an identical order last year and and a further R100 000 payment in 2009.

CVED is a converted Rooikat armoured car. VEG Magazine reported in 2006 the vehicle was fitted with a power supply control system feeding eight wheel-hub mounted M67/0 electric units and a two-phase pneumatic gearbox. The CVED project involved LMT, HIT, IAD, Nezrotek, Hotchinson (France), Kessler Magnet Motor (Germany) and MTU (Germany).

The electric drive (e-drive) project started in 1993 at Ermetek, the then-design bureau of Reutech OMC (now BAE Systems Land Systems South Africa), LMT CE Dr Stefan Nell recalls. Nell was at Ermetek at the time. “Then we modified a MAN 8×8 with four wheel motors and later with all 8. This was called the ‘ETD’ and it is still running. After that studies started with Rooikat, but if I recall there was never sufficient funds. Eventually CVED was completed, but some reliability problems and lack of funds delayed the project.”

The Engineering News in November 2006 reported e-drive, once perfected, would “revolutionise the design and significantly improve the capabilities of especially, but not exclusively, armoured vehicles”, and is a technology being actively pursued in a number of major countries.
“Electric-drive vehicles have electrical motors in each wheel hub; they consequently have no axles, drive shafts, transmissions, or gearboxes,” Armscor e-drive technology manager Wynand Avenant told Engineering News’ Keith Campbell at the time. “This gives design flexibility that mechanical drives don’t have – gearboxes and transmissions must be in certain places, but with electric drive you just have cables that can be routed anywhere,” he highlights.

The elimination of mechanical drives will also reduce the combat vulnerability of armoured vehicles.

Nell adds the purpose was to evaluate e-drive in military vehicles. “This was the hype during the late 90s to middle 2005 but nobody yet could get a production run off the ground.” Avenant noted: “This is a technology development and evaluation tool – the SANDF needs answers on electric drive: what is its reliability? Fuel consumption? Life cycle costs? Maintainability? This project will answer these questions.”

Combat vehicle electric drive demonstrator testing. Extension of EPMS/2006/509

PMS/S2011/0123 15 Sep 2011 R52 000,00 Armscor Defence Institutes (Pty) Ltd
t/a Gerotek Test Facilities

PMS/S2009/0095 4 Feb 2010 R52 000,00 Armscor Defence Institutes (Pty) Ltd
t/a Gerotek Test Facilities

PMS/S2009/0081 3 Sep 2009 R100 000,00 Armscor Defence Institutes (Pty) Ltd
t/a Gerotek Test Facilities

Combat vehicle electric drive demonstrator testing

EPMS/2006/509 28 Mar 2007 R1 895 000,00 Armscor Defence Institutes (Pty) Ltd
t/a Gerotek Test Facilities

Combat Vehicle Election Drive turret integration

EPMS/2006/551 28 Mar 2007 R91 840,00 Contactserve CC

CVED E-drive manufacturing

GSS/S2005/1330 9 Dec 2005 R84 81764 Magnet-Motor, Germany