Hybrid power in modern warfare? Povide some thought


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I was reading an article in Road and Track last week, and found a very interesting feat accomplished at Nurburg , a 911 GT3 R led the 24 hours of Nurburgring, against 198 other production based race cars, for at least 8 hours and was surmised to have won if the flat six 4.0 liter hadn't seized up with two hours of the race remaining.

The car was sponsored by a Porsche factory supported team Manthey Racing, and held two combustion engines a battery and each front wheel held a eclectic motor.


(The same model of hybrid Porsche used in the race on the Green Hell, no. 9 was the Manthey car used in the race.)

Now lets talk Green.

Now this in itself kinda proves the technology is certainly there to expand into new fields. But the question remains in this instance, if you can do this on the track for the first time and perform relatively well.


(Starting on a good test frame, such as this Eagle or similar vehicle might prove good results similar to those at Nurburgring, understand modern war maneuvering and GT racing are two different planets entirely, but then again, so was hybrid technology in racing just a short time ago.)

What about improving vehicle endurance and applying this technological innovation to military vehicles. Modern Armies hold a vast array of military vehicles, but what you may be thinking of is hybrid tanks...I don't think the world is quit ready to accomplish that feat. However from support vehicles, trucks and even supply vehicles, it would be difficult. However starting small with for say utility vehicles (standard four wheel people movers). Would be a great place to start. As with any new technological innovation in warefare, reliability and sustainability would have to be paramount if this innovation is to work.

Having a hybrid vehicle that can still move loads, and conquer terrain that current military vehicles face today would have to be a must, and the hybrid system mustn't require a boat load of field techs to keep it running, and increase vehicle endurance enough to make the endeavor worthwhile.

The goal? Extend vehicle range and make less fuel, do more, and this would snowball (in rough theory) into having to burn less fuel to move fuel to the field, and cut down on numbers of personnel (even if slightly) needed to insure this, all knowing that personnel costs, being the most expensive component in the design in any modern Military force.

Even like the GT 3 R, which was pitting an average every 10 laps, while competing Audi R8s, and even an interloping F 430 on average every 8 laps. It's only a short walk in the thought process to imagine the benefits of applying this technology to certain military vehicles, still don't be expecting solar powered tanks anytime soon.
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Actually, I would prefer military vehicles to be foremost, easy to maintain.
Also I'm concerned that maybe a hybrid vehicle would fry its passengers if hit by explosives.
Worth looking into though? Definitely. But those two things should be considered.
Well there are obviously allot of things to worry about if your vehicle is hit by explosives, for obvious reasons.

But developing safer batteries could be a hurdle to overcome, thats not a such an alien idea. Just think, there is no reason not to, exactly why fighting forces today generally are not using dynamite in munitions, yea it explodes and can blow stuff up, but there are better ways to do it, and MUCH safer compositions of stuff to lug around before you do it to.

It's not crazy to think there are better ways to use batteries either, and safer compositions of stuff to use.

Also, fuel burns pretty well under the right circumstances as well.
I think hybrid power should be developed more. I think it's in its infancy, much like the plane during the Wright Brothers. The technology has to develop. If it's sufficiently developed, then I think it should be applied to civilian vehicles first, and if it works, then test on sample military vehicles, then use it
Oh, I think the meaning of sufficiently developed hybrid technology is:
1)Less expensive than current
2)Very stable
3)Lasts long

I think these three should be considered when developing hybrid technology
Lets not forget the short gap filled in Aviation technology between the first successful flight at Kitty Hawk, and filling the skies with the dogfights of WW I, not long at all

Lest to mention if propulsion technology for military forces worked anything like aviation, then the idea could really take off. Compare it to aviation for a moment, before WW I, aviation technology was very limited, after the war it had improved slightly, and by WW ll had become a new everyday component of armed conflict. Why? Military involvement in the research and application process, what started as a civilian endeavor and really took off once military planners saw the military uses of flying machines

Same could be true with hybrid technology.

But here is one strong fact of life, it is inevitable, that for any of the world's modern fighting forces, no matter political orientation will ALL face the same problem, they WILL have to find an alternate fuel, withstanding the human race survives that long.

Even moving 60 ton tanks will require a completely new fueling system for propulsion, there is no invertible way around it, and employing hybrid technology in other vehicles first, can be that first whining step towards that realization.

It's fossil fuels, or Warfare, and sadly, It's a do or die situation of concepts, and I don't think the Human race is anywhere close to willing to give up the latter...
What are the major identifiable challenges however? Got to point these out then begin thinking how to overcome hem.
Basically the system is too complicated.
Whereas you will be able to find Joes that can fix a traditional diesel or gasoline engined vehicle for the usual issues, hybrids would be a totally different animal. The level of complexity means that you will have less (or perhaps no) people operating the machines capable of fixing them and will put more emphasis and burdens on the support network.
The other is the issue of reliability. How bang proof is this hybrid stuff?
I'm not against having new technology or methods included but I think this might be a bit too complicated for regular military use.
I think we have far too many "wonder weapons" in employ that has just made the cost of war absolutely astonishing.
The point that I am supporting is, what is the future of Mechanized components of armed conflict? There will come a time, (human existence permitting) Where our current propulsion systems wnt have the fuel needed to run.

I'm not suggesting hybrid technology as a replacement, just merely a stepping stone. As of right now, not much is on the drawing board. Unlike most other cases, it seems armed conflict will not spark a new area of technological advancements, however in this instance, will fall behind and most likely be the last area of civilization to pick up on the new technological breakthough of fossil fuel replacement.

That's only my estimation however. Yea it would suck, but either it's going to be hard and suck a little now, or suck really hard later. Either way, radical changes will have to occur, and a ocean of money will have to be behind it.
The reason why major technological breakthroughs are not occuring is because currently technology is not the major answer to the current battlefield problems. In fact, I think reliance on hardware is leading to the wrong sort of thinking.
Let me put it this way. Let's say you're in charge of a trucking company. Will you want trucks that are easy to fix and inexpensive to buy and maintain or would you want stuff that costs an arm and a leg?
All this stuff needs is as follows:
- A strong engine
- Some armor
I don't know what will happen one day when the taps run dry.

Then again, what about as of now using already proven technology with say using engines that do not employ all the cylinders unless need be to reduce fuel consumption.

Also , I agree 100% on the fact that technology can NOT solve human indifference in human conflict, not at all, but as long as this race is going to use mechanized components in warefare, they will be there, and to over look that component may put a fighting force behind the edge, having the latest and greatest gear in anything does not conclude the total outcome, but sometimes unfortunately skill alone, will not fill a serious technological gap.