Textron delivers prototype ARV to Marine Corps

By Nick Wilson / December 9, 2022 at 3:18 PM

Textron Systems delivered its prototype Advanced Reconnaissance Vehicle to the Marine Corps' Nevada Automotive Test Center on Dec. 1, according to a Thursday announcement from the company.

Dubbed “Cottonmouth,” the lightweight multimodal vehicle was designed to serve as a “Naval Sensor Node” supporting expeditionary operations in accordance with the Marine Corps’ Force Design 2030 specifications.

In May 2021, Textron submitted an initial vehicle prototype that it had designed, constructed and tested in advance of the competition for the program. Two months later, the Marine Corps selected both Textron and General Dynamics Land Systems to build ARV prototypes.

The Marine Corps initially viewed the ARV as a replacement for its Light Armored Vehicle, but service Commandant Gen. David Berger’s force design priorities invalidated this need and reshaped the ARV into a more versatile mobile reconnaissance platform to serve as the “quarterback” of manned and unmanned teams.

According to Textron’s announcement, the new Cottonmouth prototype is purpose-built for this mission set. It includes an integrated command and control suite, organic unmanned systems capabilities and multispectrum sensors to enable communication and data-sharing.

In accordance with Marine Corps specifications, the prototype has a “smaller footprint” to allow four of the vehicles to fit on a ship-to-shore connector. It is mobile on land, at sea and in littoral waters and surf zones.

Textron says the new vehicle has completed over 3,000 miles of testing and has undergone contractor verification testing of its mobility, swim capability, vetronics integration and C4UAS mission capabilities.

The vehicle’s delivery marks the beginning of its formal government evaluation phase, which is expected to last through 2023, according to the company.