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Northrop Grumman Hellhound Continues to Draw a Crowd at AUSA

March 17, 2016 (Photo Credit: Tony Lombardo)

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — The Hellhounds of folklore were supernatural dogs that wielded fire and served as harbingers of the afterlife.

Today it’s an apropos name for a light recon vehicle with a 30mm cannon up top and six troopers inside.

Northrop Grumman’s Hellhound, on display here at the AUSA Global Force Symposium and Exhibition, continues to raise eyebrows on the trade show floor.

The jet black vehicle was unveiled last fall at the AUSA show in Washington, D.C. Northrop has designed the Hellhound for the US Army’s light reconnaissance vehicle acquisition program.

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The Hellhound carries six soldiers.
Photo Credit: Tony Lombardo

Some highlights of the vehicle:

Mobility: 250-horsepower Cummins engine; 6-speed Allison transmission; 18” front and 20” rear suspension; 4-wheel drive, locking differentials.

Lethality: EOS Technologies R-400 Remote Weapon Station; ATK M230LF 30 mm cannon; swing-arm weapon mounts for crew

For the squad: 6 crew capacity with five-point harnesses; AN/VIC-56 Enhanced Vehicle System; modular interior for varying missions; 24 USB ports

Jeff Wood, Northrop’s director of vehicle modernization, described one of his favorite features: an electric motor that can generate 100 kilowatts of power. This power can be used for a wide-range of add-ons. For example, it could power a remote combat station, Wood said.

Or, it could be used to equip the Hellhound with a solid-state laser for shooting down unmanned threats.

“We got a lot of power,” Wood said during a tour of the Hellhound.

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Grumman used to make the F6F Hellcat and the Hellhound's name is in-part paying homage to the Hellcat plane.
Photo Credit: Tony Lombardo

Northrop has already tested Hellhound at Fort Benning, Georgia, and has plans in the coming months to bring the vehicle to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Soldier feedback is desired, Wood said, and often leads to design tweaks. For example, Northrop made the five-point harness easier to use after receiving soldier complaints.

And then there’s the 24 USB ports — a must-have for the soldiers, Wood said.

“But does it have any cup holders?” Army Times joked. Wood noted he’d heard this joke about 10 times on the show floor already.

“No cup holders,” Wood said. 

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