Group Develops Dodge Ram for U.S. Army With State-of-the-Art
Hills, MI - A
military version of the Chrysler Group's popular Dodge Ram pickup
features a state-of-the-art hydro-pneumatic suspension system
able to negotiate severe off-road terrain.
suspension replaces the front coil springs and shock absorbers
with hydro-pneumatic cylinders; the rear leaf springs and shock
absorbers are replaced with a mult-link suspension and hydro-pneumatic
was developed by the Chrysler Group in conjunction with the U.S.
Army Tank Automotive & Armaments Command (TACOM) - National
Automotive Center (NAC). The suspension is currently installed
on a conventionally-powered Ram, but will be included in a hybrid
diesel-electric version of the vehicle being developed for the
Army's Commercially Based Tactical Truck (COMBATT) program.
features of the hydro-pneumatic suspension are:
unique hydro-pneumatic system provides the desired cornering
stiffness, thus avoiding the undesireable axle articulation
limitations of a conventional torsional stabilizer bar
leveling. The suspension adjusts the vehicle body to a level
attitude, regardless of load distribution. This keeps headlight
beams at the proper height and maintains the desired suspension
jounce travel for absorbing rough road inputs
wheel/axle articulation travel. This permits wheels to travel
the full extent of their designed travel range regardless of
the circumstances, for example, left front wheel fully up, right
front wheel fully down, left rear wheel fully down, right rear
wheel fully up
ground clearance. Suspension hydraulics enable the driver to
change the vehicle's body height relative to the ground. For
example, the vehicle can be lowered to facilitate loading cargo
or personnel or raised to maneuver over obstacles or deep snow,
water or mud
equal wheel loading. The hydraulic cylinders are interconnected,
so loads at the four tires are automatically balanced, improving
suspension is controlled by computer, so proper operation is not
dependent on driver familiarity with the system. Vehicle controls
permit driver/operator to specify the type of terrain being traversed.
diesel-electric hybrid COMBATT truck, also equipped with the hydro-pneumatic
suspension, will be delivered to TACOM early next year. The vehicle
is based on DaimlerChrysler's Dodge Ram HEV that will be sold commercially
beginning in 2004.