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Goodyear to develop fuel-efficient military tires

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Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. has been selected as the exclusive developer of fuel-efficient military tires for the Fuel Efficient Ground Vehicle Demonstrator (FED) program, under a contract awarded to Ricardo Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of Ricardo plc. 

Ricardo is a leading independent provider of technology, product innovation, engineering solutions and strategic consulting to the automotive, military, transport and new energy industries.

The FED program, launched in late-2008 by the U.S. Army's Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) in Warren, Mich., has the overarching goals of enhancing military vehicle technology, reducing fuel consumption on the battlefield, and reducing the nation's dependence on oil.

Utilizing its Total Vehicle Fuel Economy (TVFE) systems engineering expertise, Ricardo evaluated current and emerging technologies that can improve fuel efficiency over the entire vehicle. 

Identifying tire rolling resistance as having the single largest impact on vehicle fuel economy, Ricardo considered current military tire manufacturers and selected Goodyear to develop a new class of military tires that improve the fuel efficiency of current military tires without significantly impacting toughness or tread life.

"Goodyear is honored to be chosen by Ricardo for the FED program, and we are anxious to explore the possibilities of incorporating our proven Fuel Max Technology, originally developed for commercial truck tires, into military-application tires," says Maylon Carroll, Goodyear's general manager of military sales.

"Ricardo's prior experience in implementing advanced technology into the Future Tactical Truck System (FTTS), together with Goodyear's vast experience in fuel-efficient commercial tire technology, will help develop the possibilities of technologically advanced, fuel-efficient vehicles for the U.S. military."

Goodyear's Fuel Max Technology for truck tires incorporates reduced rolling-resistance technology into the tire, which helps improve the number of miles per gallon, and can help result in substantial savings in fuel costs for the military, the company notes.

In the FED program, Ricardo will apply its expertise in the development and manufacture of special vehicles and advanced automotive technology to create a demonstration vehicle that maximizes fuel economy while maintaining the capability and performance of light tactical wheeled vehicles.  The project will ultimately produce a demonstration vehicle for testing at the U.S. Army's Aberdeen Proving Ground.

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