Best Performance Diesel Engine Worldwide: Series 890 High Power Density for Armored Vehicles

Posted on October 08, 2003

At AUSA in Washington, Detroit Diesel Corporation (DDC) and MTU Friedrichshafen, both DaimlerChrysler companies, presented their new engine for the Future Combat Systems of the US Army.
  • Size and Weight reduction of 50% compared to current combat vehicle engines
  • US Army ordered two 6V 890 engines
  • Engine designed for Future Combat Systems
  • DaimlerChrysler Off-Highway: Biggest supplier of military diesels

Washington - At AUSA in Washington, Detroit Diesel Corporation (DDC) and MTU Friedrichshafen, both DaimlerChrysler companies, presented their new engine for the Future Combat Systems of the US Army. The engine, running under the product designation Series 890 and commonly called HPD (high power density), is the best performance series diesel engine ever produced. In comparison to other compact military diesel engines, the series 890 diesels are only half as heavy and half as big as other modern diesels of the same power output. In terms of power-to-weight and power-to-size ratio it also beats the best automobile diesels by some 30 per cent.

The four stroke engine is based on a family concept that comes with different versions from 4 to 12 cylinders. The power output ranges from 500 to 2000 hp (370 to 1470 kW). The engine consequently targets a new generation of armored vehicles weighing between 16 and 60 tons.

TACOM has ordered two 6V 890 engines

The first orders for the 890 engines have already been received. In 2002, the US Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM) placed an order with Detroit Diesel Corporation and subcontractor MTU Friedrichshafen to develop and deliver two 6V 890 diesel engines as an option to power the US Army's new Future Combat Systems (FCS). As Tedd Grulke, Vice President Defense Sales Detroit Diesel Corporation said, "These engines feature state of the art design to maximize power density as part of a complete propulsion system. Our contract with TACOM includes a 50 hour NATO test and demonstration of technology readiness." The FCS engine will be a 6 cylinder version with a power output up to 750 bhp and a maximum torque of 1235 Nm at 4250 rpm, weighing 470 kg (dry). The core engine has been completely developed by MTU Friedrichshafen with company funds. The first units will soon be undergoing tests.

In addition to the FCS order, mtu has been awarded the contract to develop a complete propulsion system based on the series 890 engine for the new German Infantry Fighting Vehicle "Puma". This vehicle, ranging in the 30-ton class, represents the highest standard of German armored vehicle engineering and continues the good reputation of the German Army's high end equipment. Although very lightweight, "Puma" is designed for a high protection against ballistic attacks. The resulting requirements for the drive system are correspondingly high as well. "Puma" will be equipped with a 10 cylinder series 890 engine, with a maximum power output of 1100 hp at 4250 min-1 and a maximum torque of 2070 Nm, the core engine weighing 860 kg. The drive system of the "Puma" will equally be designed as a complete power pack containing the core engine, transmission, starter/generator, cooling and exhaust system.

Drive system designed for Future Combat System

With these characteristics, the Series 890 engine opens up the path to realizing modern light vehicle concepts like FCS. Since drive systems consume 30 to 40 per cent of a tank's internal volume, small and light vehicles that can be transported by air require small and light power units. Compact diesel engines such as the Series 890 have not existed to date, thus the 890 is key to the development of these vehicles. In contrast to gas turbines used in combat vehicles, the fuel consumption is much lower, consequently the action radius of the vehicle is increased. Also, the series 890 diesel engines require only a fraction of the costs for manufacturing, followed by lower expenditures for maintenance. The design of the engine allows simple adaptation of a diesel-electric drive; which makes it compatible for both wheeled and tracked vehicles.

World's largest supplier of military diesel engines

As Peter Grosch, Executive Vice President and Head of Sales of DaimlerChrysler Off-Highway pointed out, DaimlerChrysler Off-Highway is the world's largest supplier of military diesel engines. "With military trucks and light armored vehicles we hold 40 per cent of the market for diesel engines and in the sector of middle and heavy armored vehicles, we reach some 70 per cent." In the military ship sector, DaimlerChrysler Off-Highway reaches a worldwide market share of more than 60 per cent.

DaimlerChrysler Off-Highway came into existence after DaimlerChrysler AG had integrated the U.S. engine manufacturer Detroit Diesel Corporation. The group focuses all its off-highway activities in this business unit. DaimlerChrysler Off-Highway consists of MTU Friedrichshafen - part of DaimlerChrysler since the 1970s -, the off-highway segments of Detroit Diesel Corporation as well as the off-highway activities of the Commercial Vehicles Division of DaimlerChrysler. As the name implies, DaimlerChrysler Off-Highway addresses those application segments that are used off-highway.

DaimlerChrysler Off-Highway is represented through the brands mtu and Detroit Diesel. The two companies have been working together since 1994 when they started a cooperation on the development, production and sales of two engine series. Now, mtu and the off-highway segment of Detroit Diesel are merged under a single management responsibility. DaimlerChrysler Off-Highway is one of the world's leading manufacturers of diesel engines and the undisputed number one in the military diesel market. With a range of eleven different engine series, they cover the entire spectrum from 100 hp to 2700 hp and power many NATO vehicles including Freightliner and Oshkosh trucks, M113 personnel carriers, M60, Leopard 2 and many other tanks.