BREAKING: Oshkosh Defense Unveils New Hybrid-Electric JLTV
Oshkosh Defense photo
Oshkosh Defense has developed a new version of its Joint Light Tactical Vehicle featuring hybrid-electric technology, which executives say will offer users increased capabilities and improved fuel economy.
The Jan. 25 unveiling of the platform came as the Army and Marine Corps, through a joint program office, are set to kick off a major competition for a follow-on variant of the JLTV. Michael Sprang, head of the JPO, recently told National Defense that a request for proposals is due by the end of January. Companies such as AM General, Navistar Defense and GM Defense are expected to compete alongside Oshkosh. The contract has been projected to be worth up to $6.5 billion.
Oshkosh's new platform — known as the eJLTV — offers military customers exportable power, improved fuel economy, and silent drive and extended silent-watch capabilities, said John Bryant, executive vice president of Oshkosh Corp. and president of Oshkosh Defense.
“We developed the eJLTV to offer our military customers an affordable way to electrify the light tactical wheeled vehicle fleet without compromising performance or protection,” he said during a virtual press conference.
The eJLTV’s silent drive and silent-watch capabilities eliminate noise and heat signatures associated with diesel engines, which could enable troops to operate more stealthily, Bryant said.
The company’s electrification approach for the vehicle is based on commercially available components and technologies, he noted. The system's lithium-ion batteries charge while the platform’s diesel engine is in use. The batteries have a capacity of 30 kilowatt hours and can be used for 10 years. It takes about 30 minutes to charge them.
The vehicle also has export power up to 115 kilowatts, which will eliminate the need for many towed generators, he said.
Nader Nasr, vice president of engineering for Oshkosh, noted that the eJLTV’s curb weight increased by about 1,000 pounds but the physical dimensions and capability of the original platform have not been changed.
So far, the company has developed one fully integrated version of the eJLTV, Bryant said.
The company will also be able to be retrofit the technology into existing JLTVs that have been built for the Army and Marine Corps if requested, he added. The company has manufactured more than 15,000 platforms at its Oshkosh, Wisconsin, factory.
The contractor decided to embark on a hybrid-electric variant of the platform after listening to feedback from the military, he said.
“Electrification of the ground vehicle fleet has become increasingly important to our military customers,” Bryant said. “I've been listening to senior leaders in the Army for a few years and we've talked at great length about what electrification brings to the table.”
While a hybrid-electric capability is not expected to be a requirement for the recompete, Oshkosh believes it will help the company stand out.
The contractor's embrace of the technology demonstrates “to our Army and Marine Corps customer that we're not just sitting back waiting to see what's going to appear in a request for proposal,” Bryant said. “We're listening to the customer thinking about what the customer wants, what the future battlefield will call for, and we're investing Oshkosh independent research-and-development money to provide the customer what he needs, whether it's in the recompete or not.”