Huge, ineffective and inefficient drive systems in the high-speed tracked
vehicles are the most accountable for the contemporary behemoths of Main
Battle Tanks (MBT). However, the main problem presently existing in the
transmission system resides in the role of the high speed tracked vehicles.
To ensure vehicle operations, such a vehicle requires a continuously
variable output on both sides of the drive train in a very large range
of speed and torque. Applying the most inefficient hydraulic power transmission
units for that purpose, such a transmission system not only devours enormous
quantity of energy, it also needs a powerful cooling system consuming
14 to 15% of the engine maximum power to dissipate the generated heat.
New technology development in the field of electric motors and power
electronics opens a new area for vehicle drive system development. However,
a high speed tracked vehicle, due to a huge amount of circulating power
throughout the transmission, needs components of great power density.
Although achievements of new electric motors are impressive, their power
density is not good enough to serve as a transmission on their own in
a high speed tracked vehicle. A completely mechanical transmission concept
for high speed tracked vehicles known as Transmission with Independent
Turning Radii (TITR), applied for repowering of the Croatian tank M84,
has shown exceptional effectiveness and efficiency in steering, and enabled
to achieve an incomparable power density of the drive train. Its modular
architecture enables various combination with electric machines in order
to get a hybrid-electric drive train which can maximizes the synergistic
effect of a mechanical and an electric drive. The paper reports on the
compatibility of the TITR transmission concept with the specific needs
of a high speed tracked vehicle proved on field testing. For further
development, a hybrid-electric drive concept is shown in the bases of
which are modules of TITR transmission concept. The overall characteristics
and advantages of such a drive concept are pointed out.