The U.S. Army will soon be working with two defense firms selected to build prototypes of the service's next-generation arctic combat vehicle.
The National Advanced Mobility Consortium, or NAMC, has selected BAE Systems and Oshkosh Defense to participate in the prototype phase for the Army's Cold Weather All-Terrain Vehicle, or CATV, effort, Timothy Goddette, the Army's Program Executive Office Combat Support & Combat Service Support, said in a statement.
The announcement comes about two weeks after the Army unveiled its Arctic Strategy, which includes the establishment of an operational two star-level headquarters to lead combat brigades that are specially trained and equipped to operate more effectively in the region.
"The Cold Weather All-Terrain Vehicle ... will provide Arctic warriors a modernized ground platform for extended operations and force projection in the region," Goddette said. "The CATV will provide transportation in extreme cold weather conditions for up to nine personnel to support emergency medical evacuation, command and control capability, and general-cargo transportation."
The CATV is slated to replace the "decades-old" Small Unit Support Vehicle, or SUSV, which is scheduled to be obsolete in fiscal 2023.
"It is based on 1960s/70s technology, and the Army procured the last SUSVs in the early 1980s," Goddette said.
The service plans to test the prototypes from BAE and Oshkosh and then choose a winner in the third quarter of fiscal 2022 to build up to 163 CATVs, he added. Currently, the Army has slated $6.6 million in research, development, test and evaluation funding and $9.25 million in procurement funding for the CATV effort in its proposed fiscal 2021 budget.
BAE officials said they could not comment because their agreement with the Army is not yet finalized, but the company submitted its Beowulf vehicle in a proposal last summer for the CATV program.
Oshkosh and its partner, ST Engineering, are scheduled to submit ST Engineering's Bronco 3 vehicle, which has undergone more than 1,860 miles of performance testing in arctic conditions, according to an Oshkosh news release.
"Oshkosh Defense and ST Engineering bring together an abundance of defense industry and manufacturing expertise to address the U.S. Army's need for a proven vehicle that can easily maneuver in arctic environments," Pat Williams, vice president and general manager of U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps programs, said in the release. "We are confident that the Oshkosh CATV will enable soldiers to efficiently move personnel and supplies in the most extreme conditions."
-- Matthew Cox can be reached at email@example.com.