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Drone

GM has unveiled its Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure (SURUS), a large multipurpose hydrogen-electric UGV at the AUSA exhibition in Washington DC. 

Based on commercial technology, the platform would likely be first proven in non-military scenarios with a stable geofenced environment, such as docks, but there are obvious military applications.

The vehicle is based on two GMC Sierra 3500HD chassis joined together but is only five months into development so remains a concept with no trials having taken place yet. It is powered by the company’s second-generation HyrdoTec cell with water recovery system and can export 50-80kW of power.

It is predicted to have a range of more than 640km and standby endurance of more than a week. The vehicle has two advanced electric drive units, four-wheel steering, and lithium-ion battery system.

It is planned to weigh about 2,700 kg and carry a payload of up to 3,200kg. The vehicle has a length of 5m, a width of 2m, a height of 1.1m and a ground clearance of 3m and could be optionally manned.

A company official highlighted military potential and advantages of the platform including quiet electric operation and low heat signature and said GM had been in discussions with US Army’s Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC).

GM is already working with TARDEC on an evaluation of the Chevrolet Colorado ZH2, a hydrogen powered light truck. 

Trials have been occurring since April 2017 and the company claims a reduction in acoustic non-detection distance by 90 percent compared to the current military vehicle of the same type. Trials will continue until May 2018.

The US Navy last year unveiled an Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (UUV) using a GM fuel cell derived from the same technology.