LiquidPiston Announces U.S. Air Force STRATFI Award

The U.S. Air Force’s AFWERX Directorate seeks innovative “power on the move” technology

BLOOMFIELD, Conn., June 22, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- LiquidPiston, a leading innovator of compact, efficient engine technology and hybrid power systems, announced today that it has received notification of a Strategic Funding Increase (STRATFI) award from the AFWERX Directorate of the U.S. Department of the Air Force. The STRATFI award supports the acceleration and development of private sector innovation that can enhance Air Force capabilities to improve and execute its national security mission.

AFWERX, which provides a limited number of STRATFI awards annually under the SBIR program, is a Technology Directorate of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and the innovation arm of the Department of the Air Force. AFWERX’s mission is to accelerate agile and affordable capability transitions by teaming leaders in innovative technology with Airman and Guardian talent.

LiquidPiston was tapped for the award to produce a new class of hybrid power solution and a new engine program based on its X-Engine platform and High Efficiency Hybrid Cycle (HEHC) optimized thermodynamic cycle.

“We look forward to working with LiquidPiston and our Air Force end-users to develop and field ground and airborne power systems based on LiquidPiston’s compact, heavy fuel-capable engine and hybrid power system platforms,” said Lt Col John Tekell, Agility Prime Branch Lead. “The Air Force and other DoD agencies constantly require more energy in many applications and in many form factors in order to maintain agile combat power in increasingly distributed, multi-domain operations.”

LiquidPiston’s notification of a STRATFI award continues the company’s noteworthy momentum. In the last year, it has also received a $9 million development contract from the U.S. Army to develop a prototype “core engine” based on its XTS-210 design, as well as a $1.7 million Phase II award from the U.S. Army to continue the development of and demonstrate its Hybrid Electric X-Engine™ UAV propulsion system.

“We’re excited to be partnering with AFWERX to produce a new class of hybrid power solution and a new engine program based on our X-Engine platform and HEHC thermodynamic cycle innovations,” said Alec Shkolnik, Founder and CEO of LiquidPiston. “This builds on our ongoing internal R&D and our previously announced DARPA and U.S. Army programs, several of which are currently in development.”

LiquidPiston can receive up to $15 million in a STRATFI award*. To learn more, visit LiquidPiston’s website and follow the company on LinkedIn.

*Total amount subject to the awardee securing the appropriate levels of matching funds.

About LiquidPiston
LiquidPiston, Inc., a technology startup based in Bloomfield, CT, is leading the power systems industry’s development of combustion engines that are scalable (from one horsepower (HP) to over 1,000), compact (delivering 1.5 HP/lb), and capable of utilizing efficient fossil or renewable fuel. The company’s patented High Efficiency Hybrid Cycle™ (HEHC) and engine architecture innovation support next-generation fuel-energy conversion solutions for hybrid power systems, including for UAS, mobile power generation, and APU applications.

To learn more, visit

About AFRL
Sole organization leading the planning & execution of USAF & USSF science & technology programs. Orchestrates a world-wide government, industry & academia coalition in the discovery, development & delivery of a wide range of revolutionary technology. Provides leading-edge warfighting capabilities keeping air, space and cyberspace forces the world's best. Employs 10,800 military, civilian, and contractor personnel at 17 research sites executing an annual $4B budget. For more information, visit:

AFWERX is an Air Force Research Laboratory Directorate that connects innovators across government, industry and academia. Through innovation and collaboration with our nation’s top subject-matter experts, AFWERX harnesses the power of ingenuity of internal talent while expanding technology, talent and transition partnerships for rapid and affordable commercial and military capability. Additional information is available at

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