At Eurosatory 2024, RENK Group AG introduced its new ATREX transmission system, a groundbreaking hybrid solution for main battle tanks. Designed to meet the evolving needs of modern land forces, ATREX addresses critical areas such as fuel efficiency, digitalization, and autonomous driving capabilities.

The ATREX system, short for “Advanced Transmission Electric Cross Drive with Drive-by-Wire,” represents a significant advancement in drivetrain technology for military tracked vehicles. Combining traditional transmission technology with innovative new developments, ATREX offers a combined output of 1400 to 1500 kW, with up to 350 kW provided by electric drives. It is designed to power combat vehicles at a combat loaded weight of up to 70 tons and accelerate vehicles to a speed of 70 kph. At Eurosatory 2024, RENK is also showcasing its Next Generation Mobility System, featuring an ATREX propulsion system configured for a future battle tank. This exhibit demonstrates the integration of ATREX with components like InArm suspension, Track Tensioner, Active Damping Ride Height Control, and Drive-by-Wire systems, highlighting the potential for comprehensive, future-ready mobility solutions in military applications.

One of the core innovations of ATREX is its electro-mechanical steering system, which doubles as an electrical propulsion system and a power generator. This feature supports fuel efficiency by allowing the use of the electric drive for short distances, reducing the reliance on the diesel engine, thereby saving fuel and extending the vehicle’s operational range. The system’s advanced recuperation capability recharges the battery during braking, further enhancing efficiency and reducing maintenance needs.

The ATREX transmission is matched with electrical steering and braking modules providing for powerful vehicle maneuvering. Render: RENK
A rendering of the new ATREX propulsion system. Image: RENK
A thermal signature simulation of a main battle tank on a silent watch using hybrid propulsion with ATREX four-level transmission, braking, and steering. Source: RENK

The ATREX system also introduces new operational capabilities such as Silent Watch, Manoeuvring, and Sprint Boost. These functions enable low-noise and low-heat signature missions, enhancing passive protection and providing tactical advantages. In critical situations, the boost function allows for rapid vehicle movement using electrical energy, with the diesel engine engaging simultaneously for additional power.

With digital networking capabilities integrated into the drivetrain and other vehicle components, ATREX is equipped with Drive-by-Wire technology, paving the way for autonomous driving. This technology supports flexible driver stations and assistance systems, ensuring vehicles are mission-ready with enhanced control and responsiveness. Furthermore, ATREX’s design allows for scalability in size and weight, making it adaptable to specific customer requirements. The placement of electric motors on the exterior of the propulsion system facilitates easy modifications to the installed electrical power, providing tailored solutions for diverse operational needs.

The introduction of ATREX by RENK signifies a forward-thinking approach to armored mobility. It blends traditional reliability with modern innovations to meet the complex demands of contemporary and future military operations.