Northrop Grumman announced Tuesday that it has designed new Humvee Chassis that can restore vehicles original mobility and payload capabilities without affecting the level of protection, National Defense Magazine reported.
Greg Schmidt, vice president and general manager for Northrop Grumman Technical Services said that it will reveal more information of the new design during the Association of the US Army (AUSA) annual meeting and exposition next week in Washington DC.
The new chassis would restore the vehicle’s original mobility and payload capabilities while maintaining its current level of protection, a company executive announced Tuesday.
The service has not signed on those upgrades yet, but Northrop executives hope that its performance in testing will convince the Army to invest in the new chassis, Schmidt said.
The threat of improvised explosive devices and roadside bombs during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan prompted the Army to outfit its fleet with heavy, but protective, armor. “What this did is it greatly degraded or limited the capabilities of the Humvee,” including decreased fuel economy and mobility, he told journalists at a news conference in Washington, D.C.
The company has already installed the new chassis on four vehicles through a cooperative agreement with the Army, two of which have been delivered to the service for trials, he said. Northrop is putting the other two vehicles through endurance testing at sites in Reno and Las Vegas, Nevada.
The new chassis enables the vehicle to accelerate to 66 miles per hour in 22 seconds and increases gas mileage to 18 miles per gallon, he said. Northrop is working with automobile component manufacturer Meritor Corp. and Pratt & Miller Engineering. Cummins is supplying the engine.
A new Humvee chassis is just one of the upgrades the company is pitching to the service. With Army budgets downsizing and little money available for new-start programs, Northrop Grumman’s is pinning its hopes on modernizing the service’s land and aviation systems, officials said.