Many military enthusiasts were astounded upon seeing Northrop Grumman’s entry to the Army’s call for a new light reconnaissance vehicle (LRV) during the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) 2015. The eye-catching vehicle prototype, clad in chic, badass matt black, resembled an excellent cross between a dune buggy and a Humvee.

Army’s Potential Future LRV

The Hellhound is a six-passenger lightweight scout vehicle designed in response to the Army‘s need for a quick responder that could respond effectively in and out of enemy territory while remaining vicious and deadly. The program was part of the service’s Combat Vehicle Modernization Strategy (CVMS), which was approved in September of that year, that aims “to provide formations with the appropriate combinations of mobility, lethality, and protection to defeat the enemy and accomplices the mission across the range of military operations.” Though CVMS, the Army strives “to stay ahead of adaptive, determined, and increasingly capable enemies” in the unforgiving crucible of ground combat.

During the unveiling ceremony, Northrop’s business development director for mission solutions and readiness said that “the vehicle was designed from the ground up with the crew and mission in mind so that it could be used by light infantry, border police, National Guard or first responders.”

In line with the Army’s goals, the Hellbound was presented as an LRV capable of addressing multiple land-based “war-fighting challenges” such as maneuverability, off-road capabilities, and protection against roadside bombs and/or improvised explosive device (IED) attacks through speed and agility.

Furthermore, Northrop’s Hellbound highlighted another challenge the Army faces: generating enough electrical power to power up radios, sensors, and other onboard devices during missions. In the Hellbound LRV prototype, the company used a modular energy system from German company JENOPTIK that can generate up to 120 kilowatts of “exportable, stable power,” enough to juice up laser weapons and shoot against small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). This energy system can also run Northrop’s LN-270 Inertial Navigation System and other crucial vehicle sensors, such as the visible-light camera that can spot objects up to 800 meters away and an infrared sensor effective out to reach 10,000 meters.

At the AUSA 2015, the company’s director of vehicle modernization explained that Hellbound’s power would enable “new opportunities in powering expeditionary command post or key infrastructure as part of disaster response teams,” via Defense News.

The Hellbound has a reported weight of about 6.5 tons, a rear engine, and can carry up to six fully-equipped soldiers plus the driver. In the 2015 expo, The vehicle featured a 30mm ATK M230LF cannon on an EOS Technologies R-400 remote weapon station, as well as a high-energy laser that is “normally reserved for much heavier vehicles.”