Army chooses BAE, Oshkosh to build prototypes for new Arctic vehicle

By Ethan Sterenfeld / April 6, 2021 at 2:26 PM

The Army has awarded two contracts to build prototypes of its new ground vehicle for the Arctic, the Cold Weather All-Terrain Vehicle, which will be tested this year at the Cold Regions Test Center in Alaska.

Oshkosh Defense will supply prototypes based on the Bronco 3 from ST Engineering, a Singaporean firm, according to an Oshkosh press release. Two BAE Systems divisions, Land and Armaments and BAE Hagglunds, will collaborate on the other prototypes, according to an Army spokeswoman.

Prototype deliveries are scheduled for June 14, Timothy Goddette, Army program executive officer for combat support and combat service support, wrote in a statement.

The vehicles will be tested in Alaska from August to December, before the Army chooses one of them for production in the third quarter of fiscal year 2022, Goddette wrote.

The CATV will replace the Small Unit Support Vehicle, which has been in service since the 1980s, and is based on technology from the 1960s, he wrote, adding the SUSV is "no longer sustainable," and that it "reaches obsolescence" in FY-23.

In December, the commander of U.S. Army Alaska said that about 50 SUSVs remain in service, down from 700 at the fleet's peak.

The Army procurement objective for the CATV is 110 vehicles, while the acquisition objective is 163, Goddette wrote.

Congress has shown support for the vehicle, such as when it appropriated more than nine times the procurement funding the Army requested in the FY-21 spending bill.

Last month, the Army released its new Arctic strategy, which detailed the steps the service will take to confront increasing competition in the region.

Oshkosh and ST Engineering will deliver two prototypes of their vehicle, one general-purpose variant and one cargo variant, according to an Oshkosh press release.

BAE has previously said it would submit its Beowulf platform for the CATV program.