US Army dedicates $672 Mn for eLRV electric Light Reconnaissance Vehicle development proposals

On October 19, 2023, the US Department of Defense (DoD) announced its intention to issue a Request for Prototype Proposals (RPP) for the development of an electric Light Reconnaissance Vehicle (eLRV). The forthcoming RPP will be issued with the primary objective of enhancing the capabilities of the US Army's Infantry Brigade Combat Teams (IBCTs). This request could lead to a contract covering 1,485 units, with an approximate value of $672,000,000.
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The electric Light Reconnaissance Vehicle (eLRV) project must offer several enhancements when compared to the current High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) platform (Picture source: US DoD)

The Electric Light Reconnaissance Vehicle (eLRV) project aims to improve mobility and lethality for the US Army's Infantry Brigade Combat Teams (IBCTs) in carrying out reconnaissance and security (R&S) missions. As the first complete system under the Tactical and Combat Vehicle Electrification (TACV-e) initiative, the eLRV must enhance the strategic flexibility, efficiency, and sustainability of the US Army in military operations while implementing the electrification of the US Army's vehicle fleet.

The project is part of the broader Tactical and Combat Vehicle Electrification (TACV-e) initiative, emphasizing that the eLRV must be engineered to offer several enhancements when compared to the current High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) platform.

This vehicle must be designed to support a six-soldier Scout Squad and its associated equipment, as the eLRV must offer superior protection for both personnel and mission equipment, increase mission load capacity to transport additional equipment and supplies, and be adaptable for both mounted and dismounted R&S operations to enhance the operational effectiveness of the reconnaissance squad, platoon, and troop within IBCTs.

A key requirement is a reduced acoustic and thermal signature to ensure covert and stealth operations. As part of the Tactical and Combat Vehicle Electrification (TACV-e) initiative, the eLRV must contribute to efficiency and sustainability in US military operations through electrification technology. It should reduce reliance on Class III resources, specifically petroleum, oil, and lubricants (POL), be equipped with features like silent mobility and silent watch to minimize noise and visibility during operations and incorporate an onboard power generation capability to support electronic devices and equipment.

The eLRV should provide an increased dash speed for a faster response to changing battlefield conditions, an extended operational range to cover a broader mission area effectively, and is expected to work in coordination with other US military platforms like the M10 Booker Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF) and Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV) to enhance the lethality, mobility, and survivability of IBCTs. The eLRV is seen as strategically important in enabling IBCTs to conduct Cross-Domain Maneuvers in Multi-Domain Operations (MDO).

Currently, the Electric Light Reconnaissance Vehicle (eLRV) initiative is categorized as a prototype project. Under this framework, contractors will be tasked with developing physical models of the eLRV to evaluate the technical feasibility and military utility of electric vehicles in the Army. The Army Futures Command (AFC) has recognized the need to incorporate a scalable and adaptable capability that reduces dependence on fossil fuels while efficiently generating, storing, and distributing power to maneuver and reconnaissance formations. The electrification of the eLRV is envisioned to serve as a cornerstone of this initiative, ultimately enhancing the Combatant Commanders' capacity to execute Cross-Domain Maneuvers in MDO scenarios.

Looking ahead, the U.S. Government anticipates a Follow-on Production effort, which permits the award of production contracts without the use of competitive procedures following the successful completion of a competitively awarded prototype project. The scope of this Follow-on Production effort is significant, encompassing 1,485 units, with an approximate value of $672,000,000.

It is essential to note that this Special Notice is intended for informational purposes and the viewing of a draft of the RPP Solicitation. No prototype project award will result from this announcement. The primary goals are to provide advanced notification to the industry of the Government's intent to release an RPP to the National Advanced Mobility Consortium (NAMC) membership and to extend an invitation to industry participants to join the NAMC and review the Draft RPP solicitation set to be released.

A number of existing prototypes could be included in the eLRV program, such as GM Defense's eMCV, AM General's Humvee Charge Concept, and Oshkosh Defense's eJLTV, while other electric vehicles could be of interest as part of the US Army's electrification and hybridization, including the Nikola Reckless ATV, and the StrykerQB armored personnel carrier.