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Leading a green revolution in defence and off-highway transport

19 June 2020

3 minutes to read

Leading a green revolution in defence and off-highway transport

Engineering experts from the University of Exeter have collaborated with British designer and developer of high mobility defence vehicles, Supacat, to pioneer a hybrid electrical powered version of the All-Terrain Mobility Platform (the ATMP), one of the world’s most popular, versatile and battle-proven off road military vehicles.

Called the H-ATMP, the new vehicle replaces its traditional diesel engine with six electric motors, one attached to each wheel, and can be configured for full electric or hybrid versions.

The vehicle can successfully operate in a range of very harsh terrains, and can be applied for use in the emergency services, rail, marine, forestry and aerospace sectors.

The hybrid electric drive-train can be tailored and customised, depending on the mission, range, payload and operating environment that each vehicle will be used for.

Professor Chris Smith, University of Exeter, said: “The H-ATMP has to be able to cover the most intimidating and adverse terrain, while drawing artillery and carrying troops around the battlefield.  While it may seem that the technology is similar to electric SUV vehicles we see on the road, the reality is that is the H-ATMP will conquer rough terrain that would leave the best 4×4 stuck in the mud.”

The vehicle can also act as a power hub for field hospitals or communication systems, and because the electric vehicles emit little noise or heat, the vehicle is stealthy on the battlefield.

Now, the innovative, eco-friendly vehicle is being developed further so it can be ‘optionally manned’.  This vehicle will be able to drive itself over highly complex terrains while the driver can conduct other tasks or place themselves in a safer location for more dangerous operations.

The success of the project is the result of a unique collaboration between the University of Exeter and Supacat, the defence business of Devon-based SC Group, funded by the Government’s Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) scheme.

Professor Smith said: “The KTP provided us with an excellent challenge to innovate a new, cleaner electric powered vehicle, which has kick-started a fast-expanding stream of work with other companies in off-highway, rail, defence, and marine hybridisation and electrification research.  It’s catapulted us into a leading position in innovation for new clean power systems for all kinds of transport.”

Steve Austen, Engineering Director and Chief Engineer of SC Group, explained that, “The knowledge that has been gained and distributed throughout the project partners is invaluable, resulting in significant additional revenue in the life of the project and high confidence of sustained additional revenue for the company in this sector over the next few years.”

These two projects have meant two new jobs have been created with two very talented young engineers from the University, Matt Harvey and Yash Katare, joining SC Group.

About Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) aim to help businesses improve their competitiveness and productivity through the better use of knowledge, technology and skills within the UK knowledge base. This KTP project was co-funded by UKRI through Innovate UK and Supacat Ltd.

Click here for more information on KTPs at University of Exeter.

Video and photo credits: Supacat and SC Innovation as part of SC Group

For more information please contact:


Professor Chris Smith


SC Group
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