Alcoa Defense to Develop Fuel Efficient Military Vehicle for the US Army

The US Army TARDEC has launched the Fuel-Efficient Ground Vehicle Demonstrator (FED) project in 2008, and was meant to develop a prototype vehicle that would showcase fuel efficient technologies, while maintaining the vehicle’s performance, payload capacity and protection of soldiers.

Alcoa Defense has created an aluminum structure for the Army’s FED that will make the vehicle up to 10 percent lighter than a comparably sized steel vehicle and reduce fuel consumption by 6-7 percent because the lighter vehicle frame enables a lighter engine, driveline and chassis.

Alcoa supplied the FED’s aluminum chassis and cab structure with integral underbody armor protection to Ricardo.

In addition to a welded aluminum spaceframe, other Alcoa innovations on the FED vehicle include an interchangeable aluminum blast and brush shield that reduces curb weight. Additionally, the blast shield is connected directly to the FED’s rocker panels beneath the doors and wheel wells, for extra strength.

Also, the FED cab is integrated directly into the front and rear chassis modules without frame rails, therefore reducing weight while maintaining the vehicle’s strength. To reduce weight and increase payload, new forged aluminum wheels were added to the FED vehicle.

Pioneered by Alcoa on the Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected All-Terrain Vehicle by Oshkosh, the FED will feature aluminum suspension components and mounting structure that can withstand harsh environments and difficult terrain. Alcoa has also used Bobtail fasteners and friction stir welding.

“FED represents the first time we have been able to integrate a comprehensive suite of Alcoa’s lightweighting technologies into one vehicle,” said Alcoa Defense President Dave Dobson. “We are excited to have the opportunity to showcase all of our technologies for making vehicles lighter, faster and stronger in one groundbreaking platform.
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