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Tulsa Company Wins $13.5 Federal Contract, Bringing New Jobs

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Here in Tulsa, one of its branches, called Westwood, specializes in bringing electricity to the battlefield. Here in Tulsa, one of its branches, called Westwood, specializes in bringing electricity to the battlefield.
The LDSS connects up to six generators at a time, allowing them to talk to one another though a complex system developed in Tulsa. The LDSS connects up to six generators at a time, allowing them to talk to one another though a complex system developed in Tulsa.
Sharon Burke, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Operational Energy Plans and Programs. Sharon Burke, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Operational Energy Plans and Programs.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

A Tulsa business is helping the Pentagon do more with less, and bringing some jobs to Oklahoma in the process.

A company called L-3 Westwood announced its multi-million-dollar Department of Defense contract Friday.

Leaders say the contract will help make the military more fuel efficient. L-3 Westwood has been developing this new technology for almost three years, and says it could help save the lives of soldiers on the battlefield.

L-3 is one of the world's largest military contractors, developing the technology on attack drones and Naval vessels. Here in Tulsa, one of its branches, called Westwood, specializes in bringing electricity to the battlefield.

"Westwood is really a leader in integrating, designing and developing rugged equipment for power generation," said President Clayton McClain.

And its their latest design, called the Load Demand Start Stop (LDSS) that's earned them a $13.5 million contract with the DOD.

"What we found is that we are not always using fuel as well as we could be," said Sharon Burke, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Operational Energy Plans and Programs.

The LDSS connects up to six generators at a time, allowing them to talk to one another though a complex system developed in Tulsa.

"It can automatically turn off or on one of those generator sets, thus saving fuel," McClain said.

"All of our gear requires power. It's the communications, it's the computers, it's the GPS, it's the radios," Burke said.

The web of generators is 35 percent more fuel efficient, and leaders says the savings will pay for the $13.5 million contract in nine months.

It stands to relieve the burden of a department already facing budget cuts, but more importantly, leaders say it has the potential to save lives.

"Thousands of our folks, of our soldiers and marines, have been wounded or killed moving fuel and protecting fuel on the battlefield," Burke said.

The technology also helps reduce the wear and tear on generators overseas, meaning fewer soldiers will be needed to maintain them.

"It probably means that you can do with four generators what used to take six or eight generators to do," Burke said.

The contract will help fund more than 200 of these new systems, and that could lead to future contracts and future jobs in Tulsa.

"If the Army really has a desire for these, sees the benefit, we're happy to grow to satisfy that," McClain said.

Some of these new systems are already being used, and more will be headed to Afghanistan in June.

There are also plans to ship them out to Africa and parts of the Pacific in the future.

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