View Full Version : New options displayed for Humvee cockpit

10-09-2009, 12:17 PM
New options displayed for Humvee cockpit

By Matthew Cox - Staff writer
Posted : Friday Oct 9, 2009 11:58:38 EDT

Sitting in a cramped Humvee commanding hundreds of combat missions in Baghdad two years ago, Capt. Steve Rooney never thought he’d one day help design what could be the Humvee’s cockpit of the future.

But for the past few months, the 41-year-old Massachusetts Army National Guard soldier has been sharing his experience with engineers at General Dynamics’ Vehicle C4ISR Innovation Center in Taunton, Mass., in an effort to find more ergonomically-efficient ways of installing today’s battlefield digital communications equipment.

The innovation center is part of GD’s Vehicle Edge concept, which consists of more than 100 companies working together to solve challenges such as space and power management inside combat vehicles.

General Dynamics displayed the array of new options from the effort in a demonstration Humvee at the 2009 Association of the United States Army’s Annual Meeting and Exposition.

The vehicle features improvements ranging from space-saving alternatives for mounting Force XXI Battle Command, Brigade and Below computer screens in both the front and back seats of the Humvee to exterior cameras that provide soldiers with 360-degree surveillance around the vehicle.

As if by chance, Rooney said his neighbor, who works on the effort, asked him to help with design changes by looking at them from the soldier’s perspective.

“In my job as a commander, I had 55 up-armored Humvees and two armored security vehicles, and we did close to 1,000 missions in the Baghdad area,” said Rooney, who commanded D Company, 1st Battalion, 181st Infantry Regiment from August 2007 to April 2008. The unit was tasked with providing security for State Department and other high-level officials working in the Baghdad area.

“We were out in them everyday, all day. So the comfort aspect, the ergonomics and also the technology of course, is important to me. … There is a good chance I will deploy again. I could very well end up in this type of vehicle again.”

One change Rooney and engineers made to the commander’s seat involved moving the FBCB2 screen so it no longer partially blocks the soldiers’ view through the front windshield. The screen is now mounted on a rail and sits directly in front of the commander’s seat at dashboard level.

“It was blocking your view, and it’s at a weird angle to use,” Rooney said. “It’s already hard to see out of these vehicles because the windows are not that big.”

When not in use, the screen slides to the left and locks in position in the center of the vehicle.

“The new M1151 [Humvees] have a new radio mount, so there is space behind the radios” for the screen to sit, Rooney said.

In the back of the Humvee, engineers mounted two FBCB2 screens on the back of each front seat, Rooney said, so now the soldier’s riding in the back can have more situational awareness.

The screen can be tilted so soldiers of different heights can adjust the screen for better viewing.

When not in use, the keyboard disconnects and stows in a pocket on the back of the seat.

The demonstrator vehicle also featured small cameras, capable of rotating 360 degrees, positioned on each corner of the vehicle. Soldiers can see the view from each of the cameras on the screen in front of them.

“What we are doing is showing the possibilities of the technology; we are not necessarily tied to any one technology,” Mike Polaneczky, C4ISR systems architect for General Dynamics C4 said.

“It’s is not necessarily innovative to stick a camera on a vehicle; anybody can do that. What is innovative is to show how it works with other things.”

The technology options on the demonstration Humvee can also be adapted to work in other combat vehicles, said James O'Book, senior director of Business Development, Marketing and Sales, C4S Vehicle C4ISR Initiatives Computing Technologies Division for General Dynamics C4 Systems.

“We can deliver this capability immediately,” he said.

10-10-2009, 02:45 AM
Great even less space for thee TC and dismounts.

10-10-2009, 10:57 AM
Geez. That looks really cramped in there. Did the gunner position(on top) get replaced by a CROWS gun system?

10-10-2009, 03:03 PM
yeah but look were they placed it. behind the TC. Under the TC's seat is the batteries. which does not leave much room for leg space.