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MILITARY TECHNOLOGY (MILTECH) is the world's leading international tri-service defence monthly magazine in the English language. MILITARY TECHNOLOGY is "Required Reading for Defence Professionals". Follow us on Twitter: MILTECH1

23 February 2015

IDEX 2015: WEW Fuel and Water Supply in Desert Areas

Fuel and water are critical to successful military operations wherever they take place.  Without these a force quickly comes to a halt.  Water is the very life blood of the human body and without fuel the plethora of electronics on the battlefield today would soon stop functioning.

In the desert climates of the Arabian Peninsula re-supplying has real challenges both those of temperature and distance.  In the dry heat of the day the human body loses large quantities of water which needs to be continuously replaced. Military logisticians work on a minimum requirement of 25l per day per man.  This cannot be done by filtering water available locally, as in more temperate climates, as there isn’t any!  Transporting water becomes a significant logistical effort.  WEW, based in Germany with offices around the world, has developed a series of demountable water systems which not only transport the water but also filter it whilst it is being loaded from any source, including salinated supplies, and also keeps it potable. This potability is one of the major concerns of the user, who for many years has had to put up with safe but unpleasant tasting water.

A US Army HIPPO water station providing potable, fresh tasting water to troops deployed in harsh desert like conditions. (Photos: WEW)

The advantages of using a demountable system, whether for fuel or water, is that the vehicle carrying the module can be used for a variety of logistics tasks and is not dedicated to being just a fuel or water carrier.

On the modern battlefield electronic or mechanical systems play a major role, whether as a weapon system such as a tank or a piece of life saving medical electronics such as a CT Scanner.  All these require their own fuel supply or an electricity supply, which itself needs a fuel supply.

The movement of fuel and water is always an issue, and more especially in desert environments, and anything which can help to keep the costs down and, more importantly, reduces the number of logistics journeys is a winner.  The WEW demountable systems coupled with a telemetry system ensure that refilling is only done when it is actually needed, not just by rote.

The extremes of temperature in desert environments require the systems to be even more rugged than might be needed elsewhere.  The WEW systems have not only been tested but proven to operate effectively to well in excess of 50°C, as well as being proven to have very high levels of reliability and integrity as evidenced by the company’s customer list which includes the German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr), the UK Ministry of Defence, and the US Army.

A KMW DINGO armored vehicle carrying a WEW demountable fuel system.

1 comment:

  1. Fuel won't do you any good if you don't have water. You need people to operate all the machines that take fuel. Transporting enough water sounds like one of the more important things that the military has to worry about. It would just be nice if the water could be pulled out of the air. Then water supplies wouldn't be a problem. http://www.watersupplyperth.com.au/