General Motors is reopening the Duramax engine plant in Moraine, Ohio in order to produce Banks D866T 6.6L diesel engines, which are used exclusively in defense applications.
GM decided to open the plant after receiving a request to do so from Banks Technologies, which manufactures its D866T at the Moraine facility. The engines power the U.S. military’s Oshkosh Joint Light Tactical Vehicles, which serve as the replacement for its iconic HMMWV utility vehicle.
Gale Banks, chief engineer and founder of Banks Technologies, said GM’s decision to reopen the D866T line is representative of its dedication to America’s national security.
“In an act of unparalleled patriotism, and with health and safety in mind, employees from both DMAX and Banks are proudly stepping up to support our national security in a time of crisis. This is a truly American story,” Banks said.
The rest of the Moraine plant will remain dark for the time being, with the CDC advising all non-essential US companies to remain closed until April 30 to help curb the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The Moraine facility shut its doors on Friday, March 20 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The Banks D866T engine is based on GM’s familiar 6.6L Duramax turbodiesel V8 engine design, though it has a number of military-specific differences, which are not public information. The Oshkosh JLTV that it powers is available in both two- and four-seat variants and boasts a fully modular design that can be quickly and efficiently outfitted for a wide range of missions.
The latest version of GM’s 6.6L Duramax diesel engine, which carries the production code L5P, produces 445 horsepower and 910 pound-feet of torque. It can be found in the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD and 2020 GMC Sierra HD, where it is paired with a 10-speed Allison branded transmission.