|Manufacturer:||Renault Vehicles Industriels, Defence Direction|
|Product type:||Engine and Systems|
This engine is derived from the Mack V8 500 hp civilian US truck application. The military version has been developed in conjunction with Mack of the US and the first announcement of the engine was made by Renault in 1987. Features of the E9 engine can be summarised as follows: it operates on 60 per cent gradients and 30 per cent side slopes, has a dry crankcase for specific applications, power take-off for driving high-power auxiliaries and the ability to start at very low temperatures. The E9 is being offered for various military applications including engine ratings to 700 hp for tank transporters and engine rating of 750 hp for armoured vehicles either as original equipment or for power train retrofit.
The AMX-30 B2 was the final production model of the AMX-30 MBT which entered production as far back as 1966. It is powered by a Hispano-Suiza HS-110 12-cylinder water-cooled multi-fuel engine built by Renault, developing 720 hp at 2,600 rpm coupled to an SESM ENC 200 (qv) transmission.
The HS-110 has never been considered a satisfactory engine and following trials with a number of engines (including Perkins Engine Company of the UK), the French Army selected the Renault Vehicules Industriels Mack E9 diesel and placed an order for 500 engines.
The first Mack E9 engines were delivered to the French Army early in 1998 as they will be carrying out the actual conversion work although the design authority remains Giat Industries.
The Mack E9 engines will be installed in the AMX-30 B2 tank followed by some of the more specialised versions. These include the 155 mm GCT self-propelled artillery system (which is also due to be upgraded by Giat Industries with a 155 mm/52 calibre barrel) and the AMX-30D armoured recovery vehicle.
By mid-1999, over 12,500 E9 engines had been built by Mack. For the military application the Mack E9 has been modified and subjected to a NATO 400 hour certification which was successfully passed.
The first French military vehicle application for the Mack E9 was for the RVI RM 700-100 (6x6) tank transporter where it is rated at 515 kW (700 hp). The French Army has placed an initial order for 179 vehicles and the first of these were delivered by RVI in 1995. These are used to tow semi-trailers which carry the Leclerc MBT.
For the AMX-30 B2 application the E9 is rated at 552 kW (750 hp) and according to RVI is almost a direct replacement for the current Hispano-Suiza HS-110 engine, as no modifications are required to be carried out to the actual hull. The SESM ENC 200 transmission is retained as this was fitted on all AMX-30 B2 series tanks.
The specialised versions of the AMX-30 have older manual transmissions which are expected to be replaced by the SESM ENC 200 in which the driver steers the vehicle with a steering wheel rather than the old tillers as originally installed.
The military E9 features double stage turbocharging on either side (2x2 turbochargers of the Garrett type), a Bosch direct injection system and a dry sump. The latter is a specific military requirement as it allows the AMX-30 B2 to operate on steep side slopes and gradients which are not required for the civilian Mack E9 engine.
The Mack E9 engines for the AMX-30 B2 are manufactured in the US and are then sent to the Renault Vehicules Industriels facility in Limoges where they are modified for the military role. When compared to the existing engine, the Mack E9 is expected to be more reliable and offer lower life cycle costs.
There are some 13 users of the basic AMX-30 series tank around the world and Renault Vehicules Industriels will be offering the Mack E9 engine to some of these users.