The Army Showcases Innovative Technologies at North American International Auto Show 2003

WARREN, Mich., Dec. 19, 2002; The United States Army Tank- automotive and Armaments Command's National Automotive Center (NAC) is again participating in the North American International Auto Show in Detroit's Cobo Center, Jan. 5-21, 2003. The NAC, capitalizing on last year's successful debut, plans to showcase several innovative displays that are sure to be popular with the thousands of automotive enthusiasts attending the show.

The NAC will have two exhibit booths in the lower level of Michigan Hall. The main booth, number MH 12, will feature a new, multi-purpose counterterrorism vehicle, SmarTruck II. Built on a modified Chevrolet Silverado platform, this innovative concept vehicle is engineered to meet the military and homeland defense challenges in a post Sept. 11 environment. SmarTruck II packs a bevy of electronically intelligent devices and modular technology that will give its crew some crucial mission advantages.

The Advanced Power Pavilion will showcase some of the innovative concepts in alternative power that NAC engineers, in partnership with Ballard Power Systems, Ball Aerospace & Technologies, Delphi, Hydrogenics Corporation, Miltope Corporation, Ovonics and Quantum, are researching to create safer, more cost-effective military vehicles. The booth includes interactive educational displays on fuel cells, alternative fuels and hybrid electric technology.

"The Army is developing advanced power technologies that will reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil, improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions while improving the performance of military ground vehicles," said Herb Dobbs of the NAC.

"The Advanced Power Pavilion showcases some of the innovative concepts the National Automotive Center is working on with industry partners," Dobbs continued.

The main display booth will also feature a DaimlerChrysler Dodge RAM 2500 hybrid-electric Severe Off-Road Vehicle (SORV). This modified heavy-duty commercial pickup truck was developed as a multi-mission, multi-role logistics vehicle with go-anywhere capability.

The second NAC booth, immediately across the aisle from the main booth, will feature a 3-D film, Sim3D - A Virtual Army Adventure, which demonstrates the 3-D's of vehicle development: design, development and decision. The movie is based on actual modeling and simulation technologies that the military uses to build vehicles in a virtual environment.

NAC partner PTC® will be on hand to answer technical questions about its products, Windchill® solutions, a production-proven set of modular solutions for rapid collaborative development of customer-driven products and Pro/ENGINEER®, the most robust and versatile parametric solid modeling solution for product development. Both were used in the film's creation and were specifically developed to facilitate the virtual development process.

The NAC is the Army's official link to working with commercial industry and academia partners to create new vehicles that will give the Army the mobility, survivability and agility it needs to operate efficiently and effectively in today's new threat environment. For the military, the NAC's partnership approach makes it possible to improve vehicle performance, safety and endurance while reducing design, manufacturing, operations and maintenance costs. For commercial partners, the application of jointly developed technologies has similar impacts -- safer cars and trucks, more advanced technology available to the consumer and lower costs because of the broader market base.

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