Fresh from its success at the Le Mans 24 hour endurance race, transmission technology specialist Xtrac will exhibit its high performance engineering capabilities under its ‘Race to Military’ business development initiative at the biennial Defence Vehicle Dynamics show known as DVD 2012, which is being held this week (20-21 June) at Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire. It’s a significant opportunity for networking between the two industries, DVD being one of the cornerstone events in the defence calendar.
“The motorsport industry is highly relevant to the development of military vehicles in the same way that it’s highly relevant to the development of a new generation of hybrid and electric vehicles,” says managing director Peter Digby. “Whether it’s for the motorist or the military, motorsport can provide the technologies and skills to help the armed forces operate effectively with minimum risk and at reasonable cost to the tax payer.”
“We certainly have the experience and technical expertise to provide the performance demanded by the defence industry. The truth is that performance is the same requirement as in motorsport and in the automotive mainstream. Whether you’re a soldier, Formula One driver or everyday motorist your expectations for vehicle performance, reliability and efficiency are exactly the same and that’s what we’re good at – delivering performance, reliability and efficiency.”
To underline its design and manufacturing capabilities Xtrac will exhibit a high precision F1 gear cluster alongside its type 1002 axle developed for high mobility military vehicles. The axles have been designed and packaged to be fully compatible with existing military vehicle platforms, and have successfully completed extensive trials, run over thousands of miles of extremely demanding test regimes, all completed without failure.
“Both are designed to the same standards,” says technical director Adrian Moore. “Both have to deliver high performance and meet the requirements of low weight, cost effectiveness and of course durability. Excess weight for example has the same relative fuel penalty and CO2 emissions impact whether it’s a race car, family saloon or military vehicle.”
“The motorsport industry, which overlaps with the UK’s advanced engineering sector, really does understand commercial and technical risk and knows how to manage it,” says the head of Xtrac’s growing automotive and engineering business unit, Clive Woolmer. “A racing driver needs the confidence of knowing that his machine will finish the race. Motorists want to complete their journeys as efficiently as possible. It’s no different for a young soldier on the front line – except that their very lives and those of their comrades may depend on the capability and reliability of their vehicles.”
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