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The HMT MK2 A CAE Led Vehicle Development Programme

Dr Jonathan Farley Principal Systems Engineer, Supacat Ltd

The Airfield, Dunkeswell, Honiton, Devon, EX14 4LF

The High Mobility Transporter (HMT) has been developed by Supacat since 1990 and is used extensively by the UK armed forces around the world. Over 600 vehicles are currently in operation in a wide variety of roles. The requirements for modern conflict have put an increasing priority on troop protection from high explosives, the result of which is significant base vehicle weight increase. In an effort to continue to provide the user with the mobility they require, the HMT has undergone a significant development from the chassis up. This paper provides an overview of some of these activities and how CAE techniques have been applied throughout systems development to minimise design & test, reduce weight and reduce program costs.
Keywords: Defence, HMT, MotionSolve, Optimisation, LS-DYNA



The HMT vehicle has been developed by Supacat since 1990 to meet a specific need for a lightweight, highly mobile and versatile vehicle platform which has found favour in the military market. The HMT was developed with automotive technology in mind, utilising an efficient space-frame chassis, balanced axle loading (mid-engine), responsive steering and variable ride height pneumatic suspension. The HMT has become a favoured vehicle for use by military personnel due to its unmatched mobility and jump in and drive feel. Used previously by Special Forces in a range of countries around the globe, the HMT was introduced into the British Army in 2007 to offer support for the Afghan conflict. Commonly termed the Jackal (4x4 config) and Coyote (6x6 config) there are over 600 HMT vehicles in use by the UK MoD (Figure 1). The vehicle has undergone a number of modifications since its inception to meet specific requirements in the field and continues to be used in a variety of roles. The vehicles modular chassis and load-bay gives the users a range of equipment fit options and the ability to rapidly reconfigure the vehicle on the frontline. The current state of warfare has created a heavy mass burden on military vehicles. IEDs remain a significant threat to vehicles in theatre, leading Supacat to develop a ballistic and blast protection system that integrates efficiently with a platform not originally designed to counter this threat. The addition of electronic countermeasures and high powered communications equipment also generate a heavy electrical and mass burden on the vehicles. The combined effect of increased mass and electrical power draw have a detrimental effect on vehicle mobility, increasing fuel consumption and reducing payload capacity, vehicle range and in some cases mobility. To address these challenges, Supacat have undergone an extensive vehicle development program uprating various systems
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through the vehicle whilst aiming to maintain the core feel of the vehicle desired by the users.

Figure 1: The Jackal and Coyote Vehicles in use by UK MoD


Applications of CAE
Suspension Upgrade

Increases in vehicle protection equipment inevitably increase the base vehicle mass which has the effect of eroding available payload. In an effort to provide the user with more versatility in vehicle configuration, Supacat has developed the suspension arrangement to increase the axle load rating by 500kg. To improve the suspension capacity, the mechanical advantage has been improved. This allows an increase in axle loads whilst avoiding overload of the suspension airbag. MotionSolve was used to develop a kinematic model of the HMT suspension corner (Figure 2a). By modelling the positions of the suspension points, the kinematic model allowed the effect of changes to the suspension geometry to be quickly assessed, calculating the loads on each component and ensure the appropriate motion ratio was achieved (Figure 2b).

Figure 2 a) Kinematic model of HMT suspension in MotionSolve, b) Calculated

motion ratio for two suspension geometries

Altair Engineering 2013

The HMT MK2 A CAE Led Vehicle Development Programme

To minimise component mass, topology optimisation was conducted on a number of parts, including the upper ball joint mount. Load vectors obtained from the kinematic model were used to drive the topology optimisation. A maximum package space for the component was defined to ensure adequate clearance was maintained from any adjacent parts. Clearance holes were included for tool access. Areas of non-design space or fixed topology were defined to provide adequate land for bolting positions and interfacing with the suspension assembly. A breakdown of the topology optimisation settings are outlined in Table 1.

Requirement / Setting Objective Constraint Symmetry Draw Min member thickness

Value Minimise weighted compliance 5% design space volume Single plane, side to side Single direction, front to back 20mm

Table 1 Upper Ball Joint Mount Topology Optimisation Settings

The final topology iteration for the upper ball joint mount is presented in Figure 3a. This optimised shape was used as a design guide and the final component remodelled to meet the requirements for manufacture and assembly. Finite Element Analysis was then conducted on the final design to confirm adequate strength and durability (Figure 3b). Figure 4 shows the final manufactured upper ball joint mount fitted for the upgraded 4.5ton suspension arrangement. Manufactured in Austempered Ductile Iron (ADI), this component has a load capacity increase of +15% whilst giving a mass reduction of 50%.

Figure 3 a) Topology optimisation of upper taper block, b) Linear FEA on final taper
block design

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The HMT MK2 A CAE Led Vehicle Development Programme

Figure 4 a) Finalised Upper Taper Block in CAD, b) Taper block on fitted to upright
2.2 Chassis Upgrades

In addition to the suspension system, the vehicle chassis has undergone a significant redesign to provide improved load carrying capability and through life durability. This includes developments to improve vehicle recovery, transportation and tie-down. Selfrecovery has also been improved with a higher capacity winch. Detailed finite element analysis has been completed on the entire chassis assembly to accurately simulate the response of the chassis to the complex range of loadings. Linear FEA was conducted using OptiStruct to investigate how the chassis structure responds to the loads applied during vehicle recovery and tie-down. The chassis must be designed to be compliant to a number of military standards to ensure the vehicle logistics burden remains as low as possible. STANAG 23-06 [1] & STANAG 00-03 [2] define design limit loads required for vehicle recovery and tie-down points to ensure adequate strength. This typically equates to 1.5 x Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) applied to each recovery point. For external transportation by helicopter, termed underslung, a 4.3 x GVW load case must be applied based on an approved lifting configuration [3]. Figure 5 shows a Von-Mises stress plot of a fully laden HMT platform in level underslung configuration. A simple kinematic model was used to determine the load share across the four lifting points to maintain equilibrium based on the vehicle laden centre of gravity position. Inertia relief analysis was used to react the point loads applied to the respective lifting points. This gives a representative spread of the reaction forces around the chassis caused by accelerating the various lump masses to the required 4.3G load case.

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The HMT MK2 A CAE Led Vehicle Development Programme

Figure 5 HMT full chassis subjected to underslung loads using inertia relief The finalised chassis provides a 50% improvement in recovery and tie-down capacity, achieving full compliance to the aforementioned standards. Torsional stiffness has also been increased by 20%. Due to some significant changes to the rear chassis module, the vehicle towing fatigue life has been doubled. Through the use of CAE tools, these improvements to the chassis were achieved with a minimal mass increase of less than 13%. 2.3 Non-linear analysis of ROPS system

One further area of development has been in the vehicle Roll-Over Protection System (ROPS). The HMT vehicle has been designed to the requirements specified in ISO8082 [3]. The standard defines the impact energy required to be dissipated by the ROPS structure. The energy must be dissipated without any portion of the vehicle structure impinging on a predetermined Displacement Limiting Volume (DLV), which represents the survivability space of a vehicle occupant. The impact energy and loading direction are based on the vehicle geometry and GVW. For a side roll off the HMT, this equates to impact of a rigid ground plan at approximately 10degs to vertical with energy of 75kJ. The ROPS simulation was conducted in LS-Dyna using a fill chassis model with trimmed masses. Non-linear material curves were applied based on minimum material grades. Figure 6 shows the effective plastic strain plots at three time steps during the side impact event. The rigid ground plane can be seen to contact the upper ROPS, permanently deforming the upper tubes whilst maintaining clearance from the DLVs of the rear seated crew members.

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The HMT MK2 A CAE Led Vehicle Development Programme

Figure 6: Effective Plastic Strain in HMT Rear ROPS at a) 0ms, b)30ms & c) 70ms Figure 7 shows plots of the indenter displacement and velocity against simulation time. The indenter initial velocity has been derived from the kinetic energy requirement for a given indenter mass (2.2ton). The plot of impact velocity indicates the full energy requirement has been absorbed at approximately 70ms, this corresponds to the displacement of 358mm of the ROPS structure. The deformation fringe plots (Figure 6) confirm no impingement of the chassis structure into the DLVs demonstrating the ROPS structure meets the design requirements. The use of simulation techniques such as this significantly reduce design time allowing a range of different design solutions to be assessed rapidly without the requirement for significant and costly testing.

Figure 7: Plots of a) indenter displacement and b) indenter velocity versus time



This paper provides a brief overview of some areas of development that have been undertaken by Supacat in the development of the MKII HMT vehicle. Supacat employ a range of simulation techniques from structural optimisation to non-linear impact analysis throughout the design process. Advanced simulation techniques have enabled rapid design assessment prior to physical test programs, reducing the overall program development times and subsequently cost.

[1] [2] [3] [4]

DEFSTAN 00-23, Iss4, Technical Guidance for Military Logistic Vehicles, MoD, Nov 2005 DEFSTAN 00-03, Iss3, Design Guide for Transportability of Equipment, MoD, May 1985 Airportability Information and Design Guide, Iss6, JADTEU, Aug 2011 ISO8082-1, Libratory Tests and Performance Requirements for ROPS, BSI, 2009

Altair Engineering 2013

The HMT MK2 A CAE Led Vehicle Development Programme