Marine Corps contracts Textron and GDLS to deliver ARV-30 prototypes in FY-25

By Nick Wilson / March 6, 2024 at 3:28 PM

The Marine Corps has officially awarded contracts to Textron Systems and General Dynamics Land Systems to design and produce 30mm autocannon Advanced Reconnaissance Vehicle prototypes, according to a Wednesday service announcement indicating the prototype vehicles will be delivered in fiscal year 2025.

According to a separate Feb. 29 Pentagon contract announcement, Textron received $11.8 million while General Dynamics was awarded $10.9 million for this work. The awards cover the production of a single prototype vehicle per contractor, with an estimated completion date for both listed as Sept. 24, 2024.

The awards mark a continuation of the Marine Corps’ competitive prototyping approach for the ARV. Both contractors have already delivered initial ARV prototypes that went through a gauntlet of government testing in FY-23. The Marine Corps also evaluated a modified version of BAE Systems’ Amphibious Combat Vehicle but decided to cut BAE from the competition in favor of the Textron and GDLS vehicles.

While the initial prototypes were designed to deliver command, control, communications and computer/uncrewed aerial systems (C4UAS) capabilities, the new ARV-30 prototypes aim to provide Marines with mobile protected firepower.

In addition to the 30mm medium-caliber cannon, the new prototypes will be equipped with features including “anti-armor capability, modern command-and-control systems, and a full range of advanced sensors,” the Marine Corps notice states.

“The ARV-30 aims to combine the turret and weapon system found on the ACV-30,” said Light Armored Vehicles Program Manager Steve Myers in a statement included in the release. “Ensuring commonality is crucial, especially for the Marine Corps' capacity to maintain weapon systems with limited fleets. The prototyping of the ARV-30 allows the government to test and confirm the requirements before entering the engineering and manufacturing development phase.”

The Marine Corps anticipates releasing a request for proposals in the second quarter of FY-25 and awarding an EMD contract in the second quarter of FY-26. The service’s FY-24 budget request includes $63.6 million in continuing research and development funding for the program and projects procurement to begin in FY-28.

In February, the Marine Corps announced it would postpone an ARV industry day, first scheduled for Feb. 29, to an undisclosed date later in FY-24. At the industry day, the Marine Corps is expected to provide information on the upcoming EMD phase.

The ARV will succeed the legacy Light Armored Vehicle and become a primary platform supporting the service’s new Mobile Reconnaissance Battalions. The Marine Corps plans to procure a family of six mission role variants including organic precision fires, logistics, counter-UAS and recovery variants in addition to the ARV-30 and C4UAS versions.