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SESM at Eurosatory 2010 power-packs transmission for military vehicles T-72 T-90 main battle tank UK.

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Eurosatory 2010 International Land Airland Homeland Defence Week Exhibition 14 - 18 June 2010
Paris - France
SESM at Eurosatory 2010
Tuesday , 25 May 2010, 16:37
SESM: power-packs for military vehicles improved mobility, improved vehicle availability
The typical roles and missions of MBTs have evolved over time. Today, MBTs have to fulfil a broad range of missions, incl. peacekeeping and others.
This has led to numerous changes in their typical specification. What has not changed over all these years is one key requirement: users are still expecting a maximum level of mobility, even if vehicle weights are increasing due to higher protection levels etc. Another unchanged key requirement is that users expected, and they will continue to do so, a maximum level of reliability. Armies need a high level of availability of their vehicles, even when operating them over many years in missions far away from home.

“Maximize MBT mobility and availability” is the mission of SESM, a French company member of the German group RENK, world specialist in automatic transmissions for MBT. Located at 30km from Paris, SESM develops and produces modern powerpacks for military vehicles.

One of its flagship products, the Powerpack ESM350 (maximum 1200hp), is dedicated to modernization or new production programmes of T-90 and T-72 based vehicles, providing them unprecedented mobility.

Thanks to the fully automatic powershift transmission including steering by a steering wheel, the driver can really focus on his mission. The fatigue due to the repeated efforts on the two brake-lever steering, the risk to damage the transmission by a wrong manoeuvre, the possibility to destroy the engine by over-speed or overheat are now forgotten. The transmission electronic management selects always the most adequate gear, whatever the terrain. The engine power is now used in the most intelligent manner, extending the engine lifetime and reducing the fuel consumption. The shifting time, reduced to some tens of milliseconds, cancels the torque interruption while shifting, enabling continued accelerations on steep slopes for example. On the contrary to the original manual gearboxes, the gear shifting can occur at any time, while steering, braking or accelerating. New features, like true pivot on the spot or infinitely variable steering radii, make the vehicle much more mobile also for urban environments. The engine options include the various upgrades based on the original T-90/T-72 engine and different western diesel engines (France, Italy), up to 1200hp. All together, the mobility of the vehicle is significantly improved.

But a modern Powerpack is not only an intelligent transmission coupled to a powerful engine. It also includes a high performance cooling system making the full engine power available even in extremely hot (desert) conditions. The air flow generated by two high speed fans is automatically adjusted depending on the cooling needs. This provides a stable coolant temperature, good for the engine lifetime as well.

Very compact, the Powerpack ESM350 fits into either a T-90 or any T-72 and derivatives (PT-91, M-84) without deep modification of the chassis. Versatile, it can be installed in a MBT, an ARV, an AVLB or an AEV in less than one hour, even in the battlefield. This quick replacement simplifies drastically the maintenance and logistics, the vehicle downtime are reduced to a minimum. This leads to an excellent fleet availability, limiting the total number of vehicles of the fleet for a maximized number of vehicles in service.

This Powerpack has been selected by the Malaysian Armed Forces to equip their brand new MBT, the PT-91M produced by the Polish group Bumar.

For heavier applications (greater than 50 tons class vehicles), SESM offers high-end Powerpacks with similar features but with engine power up to 1500hp. In service in the French Leclerc and successfully tested in the MBT2000 (Al-Khalid), the fully automatic powershift transmission ESM500, comprises a secondary retarder and a torque converter, 5 speed forward and 2 speed reverse. The braking system, separated from the transmission, includes dry carbon-carbon disk technology, providing extremely high deceleration. The powerful hydrostatic steering unit allows a 360° pivot on the spot in less than 10 seconds.

Original designer of the transmission ENC200 of the French AMX30B2, SESM offers also upgrade packages for the AMX30 and derivatives (air defence Shahine, artillery AUF1). A modern diesel engine, up to 750hp, coupled to the semi-automatic transmission ENC200 (fully automatic in option) and an efficient cooling system is proposed.

With a lot of Powerpack integration experiences in the world, SESM can manage the complete work in collaboration with local partners.

SESM is the company selected by the French Army for the maintenance of the Leclerc and the AMX30B2 transmissions.

Modern powerpacks for T-72, T-90 and other MBTs

Until today, the T-72 remains one of the most popular MBTs worldwide. Introduced in the 70s with a remarkably compact design, various modifications and upgrade programs (protection, night vision, etc) aimed at improving the combat effectiveness. However, the mobility of the vehicle typically remained at the original level, with a 780 hp engine, two separate manual transmissions and conventional steering with two manually operated brake levers. This driveline is the virtually unchanged for the T-90 which is considered as a modern tank but still uses two separate manual transmissions and the same old-fashioned steering system. The T-90 is equipped with a 1000 hp engine, but is no big leap forward in the mobility of the vehicle, as most of the 70’s design drawbacks persist: poor cooling system, slow manual gearboxes, difficult to handle for tired or inexperienced drivers, long vehicle downtime in case of repair, and a reliability which may fall below expectations.
But modern powerpacks for T-72/T-90 are now available. The French company SESM (member of the German group RENK, world leader in automatic transmission for tanks) offers a powerpack which improves drastically the mobility of the T-72/T-90 class. The powerpack fits into the existing chassis and only minor modifications are necessary on the inside. This way, the Powerpack is an option for new-production as well as for upgrade programs. The Powerpack comprises a fully automatic power-shift transmission, a high performance cooling system designed for hot climatic conditions and an engine with a maximum power of 1200hp. Various engine options are available. The complete Powerpack can be exchanged in less than one hour in field condition, a big advantage for the logistics, and also improving fleet availability and reducing fleet operating costs. One standard Powerpack can equip a complete class of vehicles, including T-72/T-90 and their derivatives ARV, AEV, AVLB, etc...

The system is currently available in the new Malaysian MBT PT-91M (Poland).
This powerpack should be interesting for all existing and future users of T-72/T-90, as it overcomes one of the weak points of these tanks at reasonable investment. In return, it makes T-72/T-90 an attractive option for many years to come.
SESM also offers modern powerpacks for many other tanks, incl. a 1500 hp PP for Al-Khalid (MBT2000), and also for the AMX-30 and derivatives (air defense Shahine, artillery AUF1).

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