UK aerospace and defence firm BAE Systems has broken the battlefield speed record by applying Formula One racing suspension technology to its CV90 combat vehicle made for the Swedish army.
The CV90 has become the world's first armoured vehicle to be equipped with an active damping system, which works by sensing the speed the vehicle is going at and how the terrain ahead lies.
Active damping has been used in F1 racing cars since the 1990s and is now also used in high-end cars. BAE adapted the system, which is typically used in carbon fibre racing cars that weigh no more than 700kg, to work on armoured vehicles, which can weigh as much as 35 tonnes.
By pressuring the suspension, the vehicle is consistently kept on a level plane, which enables it to go faster, and trials of the technology have seen the CV90 perform 40% faster than its predecessor's top speed of 70km per hour (43mph).
"Adapting the Active Damping system for the first time from a lightweight car to a heavy tracked vehicle such as CV90 was a unique challenge for us, but this advanced technology will deliver results to our customers in terms of vehicle performance and savings on the through life costs, as well as providing real benefits to the front line soldier," said Dan Lindell, CV90 platform manager at BAE Systems.
BAE claims the active damping system is good for more than just speed – the reduced vertical motion means gunners are able to focus on and hit targets with a better probability.
Less bumping reduces fatigue in the soldier crews in the tanks and it also means less wear and tear, so repair costs to the armoured vehicles are reduced.
The CV90 armoured vehicle is being used in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark, as well as the United Nations and Nato in collaborative missions around the world, such as Afghanistan.