The US Army has chosen BAE Systems to build its new Cold Weather All-Terrain Vehicle over an Oshkosh Defense-ST Engineering partnership.
According to an Aug. 22 company announcement, the service granted BAE’s US branch and Swedish firm a $278 million contract covering production units, spare parts, and contractor logistical support.
From August to December 2021, the Army assessed both options in Alaska’s Cold Regions Test Center to replace its ageing Small Unit Support Vehicle or SUSV. The SUSV, which BAE Systems also built, is based on technology from the 1960s and 1970s and was last purchased in the early 1980s. The Army intends to buy a total of 163 Cold Weather All-Terrain Vehicles.
BAE submitted to the competition Beowulf, an unarmored, tracked vehicle. It is a highly adaptable vehicle capable of transporting personnel and a wide range of payloads in its two compartments. Beowulf can travel through snow, ice, rock, sand, mud, wetlands, and steep mountain terrain. Its aquatic ability also allows it to swim in flooded areas or along the coast. This is the first time Beowulf, based on the BvS10 armoured variant in service with various European nations, has been sold.
As the emphasis on Arctic Mobility deployments grows, we see increased opportunities for the BvS10 and Beowulf in other markets, including an emerging demand to replace legacy BV206s. The articulated mobility system of Beowulf is critical to its performance, allowing excellent manoeuvrability across varied surfaces. In addition, its modular design allows it to be reconfigured for various missions, including logistical support, disaster and humanitarian relief, search and rescue, and other duties as needed.
Furthermore, Beowulf’s giant windows and spacious interior suit CATV program responsibilities such as search and rescue, defence support to civilian authorities, and homeland defence. Its contemporary, commercial design ensures soldiers’ operational success in various demanding operations.
The U.S. military is increasingly focusing on its preparedness for the Arctic region. The Army issued its Arctic strategy last year, emphasizing the necessity to upgrade and expand the service’s presence in the area while Russia and China maintain influence. The plan defines how the Army will develop, train, organize, and equip its soldiers to collaborate with partners, protect national interests, and ensure regional stability.
“Beowulf is a highly capable solution to meet the US Army’s requirement for Arctic operations. We look forward to providing our soldiers operating in challenging terrain and environments with this highly capable vehicle. We have been maturing and modernizing cold weather all-terrain capabilities for decades, bringing advanced capabilities to the United States and numerous other countries. This contract means we will continue to do so for many years to come,” said Mark Signorelli, vice president of business development at BAE Systems Platforms & Services.