Decision Day: Who will build the Marines’ Advanced Reconnaissance Vehicle?
The U.S. Marine Corps Forward Reconnaissance Vehicle (ARV) will support amphibious land attacks, travel from ship to shore on connectors, launch attack drones and possibly even fire lasers, if the program goes ahead. fully realized.
The Corps is now preparing to test new ARV prototypes from two major industry competitors. Both Textron and General Dynamics are preparing to hand over vehicles to the Marine Corps for continued analysis.
“From 2019 to 2021, we were competitively selected to build a technology demonstrator with the Marines and [Office of Naval Research]said Phil Skuta, director of strategy and business development for General Dynamics Land Systems for the Marine Corps and Navy. national interest in an interview.
The ARV is intended to be faster, more mobile and more deployable than the Corps’ largest amphibious combat vehicle. This would allow it to operate in a forward support role, scouting enemy areas, conducting surveillance and acting as a “sensor” within a larger multi-domain force. The vehicle is built with the ability to elevate its mast and elevate cameras to higher altitudes to lengthen its sensor’s viewing envelope. Electro-optical/infrared cameras, for example, could potentially look over hills to detect threats at angles that would otherwise not be seen by the ARV.
The exact weight of the General Dynamics Land Systems ARV is not available for safety reasons. However, the platform is constructed so that four ARVs can travel from ship to shore on a Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) or Ship-to-Shore Connector (SSC). This is quite significant, as existing LCACs are not capable of carrying Abrams tanks and other very heavy loads. However, the new Textron SSCs will likely be able to carry multiple ARVs, making them transportable expeditionary vehicles. This is the Corp’s intention, it appears, as it aligns with the service’s recently released Force Design 2030, which called for the divestiture of tanks in favor of a multi-domain amphibious combat force. faster and more expeditious.
General Dynamics Land Systems says it will complete its prototype vehicle by September for delivery in December. After additional testing and live-fire exercises, the Corps will move to full production and should make a choice between Textron’s and General Dynamics’ offerings.
It is possible, however, that the Corps will choose to simply upgrade the BAE-built amphibious combat vehicle with a new generation of sensors and technologies, which could allow it to perform the required surveillance operations. This decision has not been made and the Corps has been pursuing its ARV program for many years, an effort that is expected to enter a more substantial production phase in the near future.
Before delivering its prototype, General Dynamics plans to refine and test its design so that it will be “production ready” if the Corps seeks to move forward. To accomplish this, Skuta said, General Dynamics is working with the Marines on three key areas of innovation to ensure the ARV can continue to be upgraded and modernized in the years to come.
Kris Osborn is the defense editor for the national interest. Osborn previously served at the Pentagon as a highly trained expert with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army – Acquisition, Logistics and Technology. Osborn also worked as an on-air military anchor and specialist on national television networks. He has appeared as a guest military pundit on Fox News, MSNBC, The Military Channel, and The History Channel. He also holds an MA in Comparative Literature from Columbia University.
Image: US Navy/Flickr.