Air assault troops experiment with Hybrid HumveeWASHINGTON (Army News Service, Oct. 19, 2005)The Hybrid Electric Humvee, wich can operate in silent mode on battery power alone, was run through a number of field assessments Sept. 26 to Oct 3 by Soldiers at Fort Campbell, Ky.Soldiers drove the Humvee for six miles on only battery power, convoyed in the hybrid (electrc-diesel) mode, and used the vehicle's electrical system to power a battalion tactical operations center. It was the first phase of the vehicle's Military Utility Assessment, conducted during a training exercise by Soldiers of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1/501st Infantry, 101st Airborn Division (Air Assault)Follow-on assessment for the HE Humevee are scheduled to begin Nov. 21at Fort Benning, Ga. Two of the Humvees will take part in an Air Assault Expeditionary Force experiment.The hybrid vehicle is a bit heavier than a normal Humvee; it runs quiet on electric power and can go 10 km on battery power alone, said Maj. Jonh Williamson of the Soldiers Battle Lab at Fort Benning. He said one of the limitations of the vehicleis that it can't ford a deep stream because the power-generating batteries are located low on the vehicle frame.....The HE Humvee has a small, ligthweight 2.2-liter diesel engine and 75 kW brushless DC generator to provide electric power for the wheel-drive motors. The vehicle also has an auxiliary power distribution system for export of clean power in the amount of 10 kW. If additionalpower is required, provision is mede to install a second APDS, TARDEC officials said."It's a prototype and has faults, admitted Staff Sgt. Michelangelo Merksamer, of HHC, 1/506th Infantry, who experimented with the vehicle at Fort Campbell end manned the exhibit at AUSA. He explained tht the field assessment were designed t work out the bugs."It has some applications down the road once you work out" he said.Spc. Jeffrey Hammes of the same unit said the vehicle just doesn't yet quite handle like a Humvee.In the silent electric mode, the vehicle crawls, and in the hybrid mode the trhottle sometimes sticks at 25 miles per hour, he said.Soldiers liked the "Silent Watch" capability that allows the Humvee to set in a battle position at nigth and operate radios, batery chargers and other devices without yhe need to periodically run the engine to charge the battery, they said.The vehicle's engine generator and battery systems can provide 75 kilowatts of continuous power to 250 kW of peak power, according to TARDEC engenieers. This power is available from the vehicle's generator and battery-storage system, without any additional generator in a trailer behind the vehicle.The Hybrid Electric Humvees are considered simply demonstrator units right now, said a TARDEC spokesman, adding that there are no plans yet to field the vehicle.