Allison Trans­mis­sion, Au­to­matic Choice

We see our­selves work­ing in spe­cial­ist ve­hi­cles, tac­ti­cal and lo­gis­tic wheeled ve­hi­cles and tracked ve­hi­cle plat­forms

SP's LandForces - - FRONT PAGE - R. Chan­drakanth

WITH THE IN­VEN­TION OF the world’s first heavy-duty au­to­matic trans­mis­sion, and even now Allison is the pre­mier de­signer, de­vel­oper and man­u­fac­turer of medium- and heavy-duty fully au­to­matic trans­mis­sions and hy­brid propul­sion sys­tems. It is a brand to trust. At De­f­expo in Goa, Dana J.H. Pit­tard, Vice Pres­i­dent, De­fense Pro­grams, and Col. Ra­jneesh Kacker, Head Mil­i­tary Pro­grams, said the com­pany has been talk­ing to ma­jor com­pa­nies in In­dia with re­gard to the fu­tur­is­tic in­fantry com­bat ve­hi­cle (FICV) and BMT. “There is so much po­ten­tial in In­dia and we have the ca­pac­ity to man­u­fac­ture for both mil­i­tary and com­mer­cial ap­pli­ca­tions,” said Pit­tard. He men­tioned how Allison Trans­mis­sion had bagged a ma­jor or­der in the US for the JLTV (joint light tac­ti­cal ve­hi­cle) wherein it would be sup­ply­ing 55,000 units through Oshkosh. Ex­cerpts of the in­ter­view:

SP’s Land Forces (SP’s): What is the tech­nol­ogy be­hind your au­to­matic trans­mis­sion? How is it use­ful to mil­i­tary ap­pli­ca­tions?

Allison: Allison Au­to­mat­ics op­ti­mise all as­pects of op­er­a­tional mo­bil­ity, in­clud­ing ac­cel­er­a­tion and on/off road mo­bil­ity. Our con­tin­u­ous power tech­nol­ogy of­fers un­in­ter­rupted power to the drive wheels, smooth take-off, low speed con­trol and ma­noeu­vra­bil­ity. Su­pe­rior starta­bil­ity and grade-abil­ity are also fa­cil­i­tated by the torque con­verter/plan­e­tary gear de­sign. Trans­mis­sion mounted power take-offs (PTO) pro­vides in­stal­la­tion flex­i­bil­ity and the abil­ity to pro­vide power to ve­hi­cle mounted spe­cialty equip­ment such as self-re­cov­ery winches or wrecker sys­tems. The wide range of elec­tron­i­cally-con­trolled in­put and out­put op­tions pro­vide the abil­ity to in­te­grate ve­hi­cle sys­tems such as cen­tral tyre in­fla­tion, lock­ing dif­fer­en­tials and black­out light­ing.

SP’s: What kind of ser­vice/re­pair/main­te­nance sup­port does Allison have in In­dia? Can it cater for the In­dian Army re­quire­ments in the com­ing years?

Allison: The global Allison team’s prom­ise is to pro­vide the most re­li­able and val­ued propul­sion so­lu­tions in the world to en­able our cus­tomers to work more ef­fi­ciently.

We also have a highly mo­ti­vated and skilled team of ser­vice and cus­tomer sup­port in­clud­ing en­gi­neer­ing team based out of Chen­nai and Delhi with a vast deal­er­ship net­work. There is a train­ing cen­tre at Allison plant in Chen­nai where we im­part in­struc­tions to the op­er­a­tors/tech­ni­cians/driv­ers.

SP’s: Since Allison is over 100 years old and an es­tab­lished brand in AT can you give us its pres­ence in the armies across the globe?

Allison: As a global com­pany, Allison op­er­ates in all con­ti­nents of the world. Allison de­vel­oped first AT in 1940s for US Mil­i­tary tracked ve­hi­cle and com­mis­sioned SP se­ries in wheeled plat­forms in the 1980s. Our SP and X Drive trans­mis­sion mod­els are fit­ted in the en­tire range of light, medium and heavy tac­ti­cal wheeled and tracked ve­hi­cles. Allison Trans­mis­sion is used in the US, Canada, Bri­tain, Turkey, Korea, Saudi Ara­bia, UAE, Kuwait, Swe­den, Den­mark, Nor­way, Hol­land, Egyp­tian and Aus­tralian armies. Well over 3,00,000 mil­i­tary ve­hi­cles across the globe are fit­ted with Allison AT.

SP’s: Do you think Allison has been able to es­tab­lish it­self in the In­dian de­fence sec­tor?

Allison: Allison has es­tab­lished it­self in the In­dian de­fence sec­tor very well. 6x6 MBRL wheeled ve­hi­cle on Ashok Ley­land plat­form for the In­dian Army has Allison 3200 SP. We are now work­ing on dif­fer­ent wheeled and tracked plat­forms with ma­jor OEMs in the In­dian de­fence sec­tor.

SP’s: Do you find In­dian de­fence mar­ket re­spon­sive in terms of AT? Can you name few mil­i­tary pro­grammes with Allison AT?

Allison: Yes, there is a paradigm shift from man­u­als to AT. We have over the past few years seen RFIs and RFPs in both wheeled and tracked plat­forms with AT. Allison is work­ing with OEMs in the fol­low­ing pro­grammes for the In­dian Army – LAMV; LSV; WHAP; 8x8, 10x10 and 12x12 plat­forms and BMP re-pow­er­ing.

SP’s: What is your take/views on ‘Make in In­dia’?

Allison: I feel we have al­ready par­tic­i­pated in the ‘ Make in In­dia’ ini­tia­tive - Allison al­ready has a man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­ity in Chen­nai pro­duc­ing trans­mis­sions for wheeled ve­hi­cles since 2010. The chal­lenge we see is con­vinc­ing the In­dian Army to adopt fully au­to­matic trans­mis­sions in their mil­i­tary ve­hi­cles (wheeled and tracked) quickly.

SP’s: Can you throw some light on Allison Chen­nai plant in terms of prod­uct range?

Allison: The Chen­nai plant cur­rently pro­duces the 1000/2000 se­ries for our global cus­tomers. Our in­vest­ment at the Chen­nai fa­cil­ity was well over $100 mil­lion. As the de­mand for our prod­ucts in­creases over time, we’ll eval­u­ate our man­u­fac­tur­ing needs vs. mar­ket de­mand, and bring in in­vest­ment at the ap­pro­pri­ate time as needed. As we did with the 1000/2000 se­ries trans­mis­sions, we’ll in­vest as the de­mand for other prod­ucts in­creases to the level that it makes business sense to ex­pand our lo­cal man­u­fac­tur­ing ca­pa­bil­ity.

SP’s: The K-9 Va­jra-T how­itzer de­vel­oped by L&T and Sam­sung Tech­win is likely to bag over 5,000-crore or­der for the 100 such tracked self-pro­pelled 155mm ar­tillery guns. This plat­form is be­lieved to have an AT. Can you tell us some­thing about the prod­uct type? Allison: K-9 Va­jra how­itzer (155mm ar­tillery gun) de­vel­oped by L&T and Sam­sung Tech­win on a tracked plat­form is fit­ted with Allison X-1100.

X-200 trans­mis­sion used for tracked de­fence ve­hi­cles dis­played at De­f­expo

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