Stabilized, Modular, Turret Drive System for Modern Infantry Fighting Vehicles

Stabilized, Modular, Turret Drive System for Modern Infantry Fighting Vehicles

When Denel Land Systems was awarded the contract to develop the new generation of Infantry Combat Vehicles (ICV), called the Badger, for the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), they contacted Curtiss-Wright. As a subsystem supplier, Curtiss-Wright provided technical support in the development of multiple system demonstrators. The system's reliability and stability enabled Denel to secure the government contract for the Hoefyster program and therefore secured Curtiss-Wright’s contract with Denel to provide the production turret aiming and stabilization drive systems.

The “Hoefyster“ project includes the delivery of over 200 Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFV) which will replace the 6x6 Ratel IFV used by the South African National Defence Force for the last 30 years.

Denel’s challenge was to create five vehicle variants, with four different turret drive systems, two of which, the Section and Fire support variants, needed a highly stabilized turret drive system. Curtiss-Wright’s challenge was to create a turret drive system with modular LRUs that could be interchangeable across the variants, thus reducing costs and simplifying logistical support.

The stabilization performance determines the quality of the turret drive system. Without a high-performing stabilization system, the other onboard systems are unable to adjust for the vehicle's behavior and its probability of hitting the target. For example, if during design the center of gravity changes, Curtiss-Wright needed to be provided with this information in order to analyze how it affects the stabilization so a joint solution could be achieved. Therefore system performance is highly dependent on how well the vehicle design team and the turret design team work together. Curtiss-Wright was chosen for this project both because of their reputation as a leading supplier of drive systems and because they could demonstrate that, in collaboration with the customer, they could achieve high stabilization performance. With frequent on-site visits and the constant exchange of design data, Denel was able to capitalize on the expertise of Curtiss-Wright in order to achieve the levels of stabilization necessary to win the project.

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