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Oshkosh Defense builds hybrid-electric JLTV demonstrator

Oshkosh Defense unveiled a hybrid-electric version of its JLTV. (Oshkosh Defense)

Oshkosh Defense has unveiled a hybrid-electric Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (eJLTV) that would enable it to be operated for up to 30 minutes in silent drive mode.

Company officials discussed the modified vehicle during a 25 January press conference and announced that they have built a technology demonstrator that uses a ‘commercially available' lithium-ion battery. President of Oshkosh Defense John Bryant said the company can modify existing two-door and four-door JLTVs with this new power source.

“The eJLTV offers our customers the performance and protection of the Oshkosh JLTV with a few critical additions. It features exportable power, improved fuel economy, and technologies that enable silent drive and extended silent watch, eliminating the noise and heat signatures associated with diesel engines,” he added.

More specifically, it takes the diesel engine about 30 minutes to charge the lithium-ion battery and then the eJLTV can operate off of battery power for approximately the same amount of time. It is also able to export up to 115 kW of power, thus eliminating the need for towed generators.

However, the hybrid electric configuration adds more than 1,000 pounds (453 kg) to the vehicle's curb weight, but the company said the vehicle's physical dimensions and its transportability are unchanged.

Oshkosh Defense's decision to unveil the eJLTV comes at a time when the US Army is expected to release a request for proposal for a JLTV recompete. The service is expected to seek increased fuel efficiency but Bryant said industry is not anticipating the service to include hybrid-electric requirement as part of the competition.

AM General, GM Defense, and Navistar are also expected to compete for this contact.

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