Category Archives: Ground Forces

Extended Range

Inside a section of a cavernous building in use to assemble a complex and sophisticated military vehicle, a stripped-down chassis awaits a series of extensive modifications and upgrades.

Extended Range Cannon Artillery (ERCA)
The longer cannon tube is a prominent feature of the Extended Range Cannon Artillery system, which is designed to provide more flexibility and effectiveness on the battlefield (Photo by Jesse Glass)

Just outside the building, punctuating its presence with a diesel engine rumble, is a much more complete version of the vehicle. Inside, an operator slowly raises and lowers a cannon tube that will eventually fire an artillery projectile to ranges much farther than could be previously achieved.

More than a dozen prototypes of the Extended Range Cannon Artillery (ERCA) system will eventually be assembled at this small U.S. Army installation in northern New Jersey, yet the significance of the work here extends far beyond its confines.

The advanced artillery system, commonly known as ERCA, is considered the signature effort within the Army’s top Modernization Priority: Long Range Precision Fires (LRPF). With its longer cannon barrel and other key enhancements, ERCA is expected to greatly extend the strike range of precision artillery with improved projectiles and more powerful propellant.

ERCA is a 155-mm self-propelled howitzer that is being integrated into the existing M109A7 Paladin Integrated Management or PIM. Testing has shown that it can reach a target much farther than existing 155-mm artillery, an achievement that has infused Army leaders with enthusiasm.

«It’s a fabulous addition to our capabilities», said Brigadier General William T. Boruff, the former Joint Program Executive Officer Armaments and Ammunition, now retired. «We’re going to have a cannon that can range 70 kilometers/43.5 miles with the Excalibur round and we’re hitting point targets with accuracy at 70 kilometers/43.5 miles».

At a «christening ceremony» last year to officially introduce ERCA into the Army via an operational artillery battalion, Brigadier General Glenn A. Dean III, Program Executive Officer, Ground Combat Systems, said, «This is an exciting day for the artillery and artillery men everywhere».

In the past, 155-mm artillery rounds were commonly viewed as mostly area weapons, whose suppressive fires allowed troops to maneuver during combat. More recently, however, the availability of precision-guided rounds, which can strike to within one-meter of a specific target 30 kilometers/18.6 miles away, provides commanders more options and flexibility on the battlefield.

The U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM) Armaments Center at Picatinny Arsenal is taking the lead in designing ERCA. As a subordinate center to the larger DEVCOM organization, the Armaments Center is part of the Army Futures Command.

In 2015, the Armaments Center launched ERCA as a science and technology effort to address a growing need to extend artillery range. The development of ERCA gained considerable impetus in 2019, when the need to deliver long-range precision fires became a priority within the Army Modernization Strategy.

Thus, the combination of evolving technology, more robust funding and priority status set the stage for the ongoing assembly of ERCA systems, known officially as mid-tier acquisition prototypes. The middle tier of acquisition pathway is used to rapidly develop fieldable prototypes within an acquisition program to demonstrate new capabilities, and/or rapidly field production quantities of systems with proven technologies that require minimal development.

The Armaments Center’s involvement in assembling so many ERCA prototypes is a departure of sorts from its typical role of research and development. The usual pattern is to mature a technology on behalf of a customer organization within the Army, which later accepts the transfer of the project. The receiving organization will typically seek out a defense contractor for mass production.

«Earlier on, the Armaments Center was asked to assemble only three prototypes», said Joseph P. Troll, the Armament Lead for ERCA. «Then we were going to mature the technology to hit the street, and have additional contractors come in and bid on the technology to build this».

However, as the Armaments Center proceeded to assemble ERCA prototypes, a key event was looming. By the end of Fiscal Year 2023, the Army anticipates receiving a battalion of ERCA prototypes to begin an operational assessment.

The initial request to the Armaments Center for three ERCA prototypes then grew to seven. As soon as it became evident that the Armaments Center could handle additional numbers, Troll said, a later request came in: «Can you actually build a battalion?»

«We have a lot of outstanding partners working with us on the assembly, including various Army organizations, the industrial base, industry and government partners», Troll explained.

«But within DEVCOM, the Armaments Center and GVSC (Ground Vehicle Systems Center), we’re really achieving this extended range technology holistically in house, which is a win for the Army because it’s cost beneficial. It allows us to move at a pace that has really never been seen before in other programs».

The Armaments Center’s ability to do the work, however, does not reflect the difficulty and complexity of that work: stripping down an M109A7 Paladin, then methodically assembling a much more robust and lethal 155-mm howitzer that would then become a functional ERCA system.

Within the Armaments Center, at least 300 people are involved with some aspect of the project across 20 different integrated product teams, or IPTs. In addition to internal collaboration, there is the constant coordination with other Army organizations and industry partners. The process can be compared to a sophisticated watch piece with highly synchronized mechanical movements.

«It is very detail oriented», Troll said of the ERCA project. «In order to be successful, we created multiple teams to manage every aspect. We’ve got a family of IPTs that manage everything from our modifications to our vendors, to our fire control software and everything else that’s on ERCA».

The advantages of a tightly focused in-house effort save valuable time, solving problems quickly and avoiding overreliance on outside contractors during the testing and assembly stage.

«We’re really moving quickly», said Troll. «Anytime there’s an issue, or any troubleshooting that occurs, the teams here on standby are ready to go. It really allows us to be adaptable and move quickly in an ever changing environment».

«ERCA truly is an example of a signature modernization system and follows the Army’s strategy of constantly looking for cost savings at the component, subsystem, and assembly line level», Troll added. «Part of how we do that is that each organization or contractor isn’t developing something outside of the purview of another organization, and then trying to put it all together at the end. Our integrated, simultaneous, and concurrent approach is what speeds up our development».

From Troll’s perspective, the Armaments Center gained valuable experience now being applied to the multi-ERCA effort with its previous involvement in upgrading the M119 105-mm towed artillery system. Several hundred howitzers received upgraded fire-control and recoil systems.

«Normally, the Armaments Center isn’t the type of organization where you would do a complete overhaul of an entire fleet of weapon systems», Troll noted. «But the M119 was unique because we had the folks developing those technologies here in-house. It made sense to have them be the installers of that technology so that we can move quickly to support that effort».

The experience with the M119 underscored the value of having the varied areas of expertise clustered in a relatively compact area.

«We don’t have to go travel three, four hours, wherever it is, in different areas in the country in order to go troubleshoot these new prototypes», Troll explained. «We just walk next door. You plug it in and you’re ready to go. By the afternoon, you have your answer. Those successes and lessons from M119 were transitioned over to ERCA. It really has panned out».

«A lot of the same folks that work on ERCA here today are the same folks that did that effort many years ago», Troll said of the M119 retrofit. «They had that battle rhythm already going, and it was already established, so we just carried it over to support ERCA».

The Armaments Center is finishing up its set of ERCA testing prototypes that have been delivered for testing and evaluation at various locations within the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command. Those prototypes will return to Picatinny Arsenal for upgrades and retrofit before issuance to operational units.

The current assembly of the first battalion of ERCAs is benefitting from the information gained with the first testing prototypes. The eventual battalion fleet is in a «test-fix-test» mode as the system elements (weapon, propellant, and projectiles) are concurrently developed. The current assembly effort is underway to meet the timeline for the FY23 operational assessment.

Robert Legemaat, the Integration and Demonstration IPT Lead, said the ongoing challenges of ERCA integration include coordinating with all the project teams to make sure that the correct configurations of the vehicles are being captured. Also, that when testing occurs, that the proper configuration of the vehicles is being met for each specific test.

In addition, there is the tedious process of producing all the detailed documentation of the end configuration. That process is necessary to ensure that, when ERCA is eventually transitioned to private industry for production, the industry partner will have all the information required to produce ERCAs in a traditional manufacturing setting.

«It’s challenging», Legemaat said. «There are a lot of late nights and early mornings to accommodate this. At the end of the day, as long as we get a good product to the Soldier that we can validate and meet our deadlines, then it’s worth it».

Precision Strike Missiles

The U.S. Army has awarded Lockheed Martin a $158 million contract to produce additional Early Operational Capability (EOC) Precision Strike Missiles (PrSM). This is the second production contract received to date and follows a successful Manufacturing Readiness Assessment milestone visit with the Army – a critical step in the development program advancing PrSM closer to fielding.

Precision Strike Missiles (PrSM)
Lockheed Martin to deliver PrSM to the US Army for Early Fielding

The U.S. Army awarded the first EOC production and Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) contracts in September 2021.

Lockheed Martin is currently building PrSMs to fulfill the Army’s initial production contract and additional rounds that will be used in upcoming system qualification tests. EMD will result in a fully qualified system and is the last phase of the development program before a full-rate production decision will be made in 2025.

The next set of flight tests will begin in 2023. These tests follow a record-setting flight surpassing 499 km/310 miles last year at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.

PrSM is the Army’s next-generation tactical missile supporting the number one modernization priority for Long-Range Precision Fires (LRPF).

For more than 40 years, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control has been the leading designer and manufacturer of long-range, surface-to-surface precision strike solutions, providing highly reliable, combat-proven systems such as the Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS), HIMARS, Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) and Guided MLRS (GMLRS) to domestic and international customers.

Land Precision

MBDA’s new surface-to-surface fires capabilities for the British Army are being showcased for the first time at Defence Vehicles Dynamics (DVD) 2022.

Brimstone on Boxer
Brimstone on Boxer

MBDA’s ‘Land Precision Fires Family’ comprising Surface-Launched Brimstone and Land Precision Strike (LPS) are weapons that provide precision at layered ranges, operating 24/7 with low collateral effects across a wide range of operational scenarios, from peer conflict to a limited sub threshold operation. They will help commanders to win the deep fight and shape the close fight.

Mike Mew, UK Director Sales and Business Development: «The needs of the Army are clear and MBDA’s Future Portfolio, which contains the Land Precision Fires Family, can contribute to enabling CGS’s OP MOBILISE, accelerate Future Soldier, and meet key Land Industrial Strategy objectives. Working with the new Deep Recce Strike Brigade Combat Team is just one example of where MBDA is partnering with the Army to simplify and deliver precision-at-range complex weapons that are packed with the latest technology».

Brimstone’s ‘one missile, multi-platform’ versatility is being showcased at DVD2022, including:

 

Brimstone on Boxer

The Brimstone on Boxer concept being showcased at DVD has been created by both RBSL and MBDA in response to British Army’s need for a Mounted Close Combat Overwatch (MCCO) capability, as part of its future anti-armour needs known as Battle Group Organic Anti-Armour (BGOAA). Engaging quickly to deliver precision anti-armour effects at long ranges, the Brimstone on Boxer mission module provides the capability for Heavy Combat Teams to repel adversary formations and single targets. Rapidly providing an initial capability with current equipment and then spirally developing with broader battlefield integration is at the heart of this concept.

 

Brimstone on High Mobility Transporter HMT600 series

The Brimstone on HMT600concept has been created by both Supacat and MBDA to provide the Light Forces tactical commander with a similar and complementary organic Overwatch capability to rapidly deliver precision anti-armour effects at long ranges and in volume. Potentially integrating with in-service equipment such as the Forsberg Fused Target Locator (FTL) and MANTIS Battlefield Management System and also spirally developing over time.

Brimstone on Supacat HMT
Brimstone on Supacat HMT

 

Land Precision Strike

Land Precision Strike (LPS) responds to the emerging artillery need to defeat high-value targets in the deep battle; targets which may be relocatable and fleeting in nature. So, achieving a disproportional operational effect on the adversary.

MBDA is working closely with MOD stakeholders on LPS weapon system concepts that will offer land commanders a step change in capability against armour at range – achieving highly discriminate, highly precise and low collateral effects for both peer and sub-peer conflicts. The plan is to be able to fire the LPS missile from a range of launchers including M270 MLRS, satisfying MOD’s «one platform, many weapons» objective.

Multi-dimensional approach

The Assured Positioning, Navigation and Timing/Space Cross-Functional Team (APNT/Space CFT) takes a multi-dimensional approach to understanding and preparing for future warfare.

APNT/Space CFT
U.S. Army Soldiers experiment with new Assured Positioning, Navigation and Timing/Space equipment during the Army’s 2021 Positioning, Navigation and Timing Assessment Exercise at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico (U.S. Army photo by Austin Thomas, Army Futures Command)

The team, based at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is dedicated to advancing the Army’s tactical and navigational capabilities and ensuring tomorrow’s Soldiers have the modern situational tools they need to maneuver with utmost accuracy, safety and skill.

The CFT is making significant progress toward this goal by leveraging iterative developments, remaining open to new technologies and committing to continuously evolving PNT equipment and systems to meet changing threats and needs.

«Our Cross-Functional Team will continue to assess and strengthen the future of our operational environments, emerging threats and technologies to ensure our Army is prepared for 2030 and beyond. We will continue to support the requirement development and delivery of trusted solutions to the Soldier», said Michael C. Monteleone III, Director of the APNT/Space CFT, reiterating the team’s focus on nimbly and steadfastly enabling the success of future warfighters.

According to Army planners, the likelihood of future operations spanning diverse domains – air, land, sea, space, cyberspace and the electromagnetic spectrum – means Soldiers will need more flexible and far-ranging resources to inform their movements and operations.

To facilitate this, the APNT/Space CFT conducts rigorous field experimentation and prototype assessment and drafts detailed requirements for state-of-the-art materiel solutions, which the Army can then further develop and employ to improve information gathering and data precision without disrupting or adding extra burden to Soldier operations.

Experimentation for APNT/Space happens on the ground and in the air, including along the electromagnetic spectrum – sometimes referred to as the «invisible battlefield» – and in the low Earth orbit (LEO) of space.

Within these frequently interwoven domains, the APNT/Space CFT investigates alternative Global Positioning System (GPS) capabilities and other navigation resources already in use while also evaluating how to best integrate new anti-jamming functions, electronic support, inertial navigation systems and vision-based navigation platforms.

The CFT coordinates regularly with industry, Joint partners and other government agencies to identify and explore solutions that are modular, scalable and an excellent fit for multiple platforms, as well as the upgrades and adjustments that occur to equipment and systems over time.

Modern PNT tools currently being developed and fielded include mounted, dismounted and alternative navigation systems, situational awareness devices, and next-generation sensors designed to allow for optimum flexibility and performance against threats.

Within the realm of space, the CFT is shaping a strategy to provide survivable, responsive and resilient Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) and communications capabilities in LEO, complete with the ability to share information rapidly and securely with tactical commanders on the ground.

The team’s experts are also focused on understanding and preparing for the future of navigation warfare (NAVWAR), which will require sophisticated offensive and defensive systems to produce tactical advantages and enable overmatch. To encourage synchronization of efforts on this front, the CFT is working closely with Army partners to draft an overarching NAVWAR strategy that aligns with U.S. Department of Defense NAVWAR plans but is also tailored to unique Army needs.

By studying and preparing for Multi-Domain Operations and experimenting with the newest technologies available, the APNT/Space CFT is playing an integral role in helping the Army to equip Soldiers with more mobile, scalable and interoperable navigation devices, in turn strengthening the agility of the future force.

Highest Powered Laser

Lockheed Martin delivered to the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research & Engineering OUSD (R&E) a new benchmark: a tactically-relevant electric 300 kW-class laser, the most powerful laser that Lockheed Martin has produced to date. This 300 kW-class laser is ready to integrate with the DOD demonstration efforts including the U.S. Army’s Indirect Fires Protection Capability-High Energy Laser (IFPC-HEL) Demonstrator laser weapon system.

IFPC-HEL
U.S. Army’s Indirect Fires Protection Capability-High Energy Laser (IFPC-HEL) Demonstrator laser weapon system. Image courtesy Lockheed Martin

The OUSD (R&E) selected Lockheed Martin in 2019 to scale its spectral beam combined high energy laser architecture to the 300 kW-class level as part of the High Energy Laser Scaling Initiative (HELSI), and the team recently achieved that milestone ahead of schedule.

«Lockheed Martin increased the power and efficiency and reduced the weight and volume of continuous-wave high energy lasers which reduces risk for future fielding efforts of high power laser weapon systems», said Rick Cordaro, vice president, Lockheed Martin Advanced Product Solutions.

The HELSI laser will support demonstration efforts with the Army’s IFPC-HEL, which is scheduled for laboratory and field testing this year.

This recent HELSI delivery milestone also exemplifies Lockheed Martin’s commitment to 21st Century Security, developing advanced technologies that provide speed, agility, and mission solutions that help ensure the U.S. and its allies are always prepared for what’s ahead.

Lockheed Martin’s 300 kW-class high-energy laser design and build was enabled by significant investments in directed energy technology and the contributions of the company’s dedicated team in Washington state and Owego, New York. The team is applying more than 40 years of experience researching, designing, developing, and capturing electromagnetic energy and elevating its power to create innovative 21st century security solutions.

Mała NAREW

PGZ and its subsidiaries, PIT-RADWAR, JELCZ and WZU, working hand-in-hand with MBDA have been making rapid progress on the SHOrt-Range Air Defence (SHORAD) solution, known as «Mała NAREW», with the first two Polish iLaunchers of the system already in Poland undergoing integration and trials ahead of delivery to the customer.

Mała NAREW
PGZ and MBDA making rapid progress on «Mała NAREW»

This project aims to deliver rapidly two SHORAD-class fire units equipped with Common Anti-Air Modular Missile (CAMM) missiles, integrated with SOŁA radar stations and the Polish Command and Control (C2) system.

The «Mała NAREW» units are being adapted to work within one SHORAD class solution. Functional integration of the radar stations, C2 systems and CAMM missile fire control software is going hand-in-hand with the physical integration of subsequent iLauncher with JELCZ trucks chassis. The first training sessions for operators of iLauncher and Polish components of the «Mała NAREW» system has already been conducted.

Sebastian Chwałek, CEO of PGZ S.A. said: «By implementing this program, we strengthen our credibility as a strategic partner for the army, ready to provide advanced air defence systems at record pace. We treat «Mała NAREW» as a test ground before the NAREW program, showing what our capabilities are and how to cooperate with major foreign partner MBDA UK on a joint project. We believe that this relationship will translate into further successes, both for our companies and the armies that will trust us to bring their air defence into XXI century».

Chris Allam, Managing Director of MBDA UK, said: «We’re proud that the co-operation between MBDA and PGZ achieved the arrival of the first air defence hardware into Poland in an incredibly short timeframe. The successes of the «Mała Narew» project are a very positive indicator for the success of PGZ-MBDA co-operation on the wider NAREW project that will include extensive transfer of technology and knowledge to Poland on missiles and launchers».

The «Mała NAREW» program, in addition to the fire units themselves, also includes a training and logistics package. Under the project, PGZ and MBDA are conducting integration of selected British and Polish elements of air defence systems as well as provide technical support for the ordered equipment at the operational stage. The contract provides for the delivery of the first «Mała NAREW» fire unit this year, and the second in 2023.

Short-Range Air Defence

Saab has conducted the first Mobile Short-Range Air Defence (MSHORAD) live system firing for an audience of various national delegations. In a series of firings, the system identified, tracked and engaged several targets.

Mobile Short-Range Air Defence (MSHORAD)
Saab’s MSHORAD System Successfully Demonstrated with Live Firing

The firings took place during August 30 in Karlskoga, Sweden. Potential customers from 15 nations attended the live firing. A total of five successful firings were performed from the RBS 70 NG Mobile Firing Unit on the MARS-S330 vehicle against a variety of targets, including a drone and an elevated helicopter airframe. During one firing scenario the vehicle mounted sight was taken off and reconfigured as a man portable firing unit. A night firing was also conducted against a towed target.

«These successful firings proves that we have a fully operable mobile air defence solution. These firings highlights the value of a single supplier being able to deliver everything from radar to the firing unit, including a Ground Based Air Defence Command and Control (GBAD C2) solution. The combination of our Giraffe 1X radar and the RBS 70 NG Mobile Firing Unit is the perfect match for a solution with first-class range, altitude coverage and detection», says Stefan Öberg, head of Saab’s business unit Missile Systems.

MSHORAD is Saab’s response to the new battlefield era, with evolved airborne threats such as the advent of drones, unmanned aerial vehicles and other advanced airborne weapons. MSHORAD is a vehicle-integrated solution that can identify, counter and neutralise air threats quickly, effectively and decisively. The system consists of the Mobile Radar Unit, based on the Giraffe 1X radar, the Mobile Firing Unit, based on the RBS 70 NG, all connected with Saab’s GBAD C2.

Krab howitzers

Poland will order 48 more AHS Krab self-propelled howitzers and 36 accompanying vehicles from local arms producer Huta Stalowa Wola for 3.8 billion zlotys ($797 million), National Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said on Monday.

AHS Krab
Poland to order 48 Krab howitzers for nearly $800 mln

«This is a second contract, the first was concluded in 2016, and is still being implemented … the contract value is 3.8 billion zlotys», Blaszczak said.

In 2016, the Polish military ordered 96 self-propelled howitzers from Huta Stalowa Wola to be delivered by 2024.

The AHS Krab has a maximum firing range of 40 kilometres/25 miles.

Russia’s invasion on Ukraine, which Moscow calls a «special military operation» has raised security fears among many former eastern bloc countries, and NATO member Poland has vowed to boost defence spending to 3% of gross domestic product and more than double the size of its army to deter any attacks.

At the end of May, Polish radio said Poland had given Ukraine 18 AHS Krab self-propelled howitzers.

Tanks to Poland

General Dynamics Land Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics (GD), announced on August 25, 2022 that it has been awarded a Foreign Military Sales order from the U.S. Army worth up to $1.148 billion to deliver 250 M1A2 SEPv3 Abrams main battle tanks to Poland.

M1A2 SEPv3 Abrams
Polish Army to receive 250 tanks in the state-of-the-art M1A2 SEPv3 configuration

The state-of-the-art M1A2 SEPv3 Abrams configuration features technological advancements in communications, fire control and lethality, reliability, sustainment and fuel efficiency, plus upgraded armor. Additionally, the M1A2 SEPv3 Abrams is designed to seamlessly accept future upgrades.

«We are pleased to have been chosen to provide this critical armored capability to our allies in Poland», said Chris Brown, vice president of global strategy and international business development at General Dynamics Land Systems. «The M1A2 SEPv3 Abrams is the most advanced main battle tank in the world, and we look forward to getting it into the hands of Polish Soldiers».

General Dynamics Land Systems provides innovative design, engineering, technology, production and full life-cycle support for land combat vehicles around the globe. The company’s extensive experience, customer-first focus and seasoned supply chain network provide unmatched capabilities to the U.S. military and its allies.

General Dynamics is a global aerospace and defense company that offers a broad portfolio of products and services in business aviation; ship construction and repair; land combat vehicles, weapons systems and munitions; and technology products and services. General Dynamics employs more than 100,000 people worldwide and generated $38.5 billion in revenue in 2021.

All-Terrain Vehicle

BAE Systems’ Beowulf has won the U.S. Army’s competition for its Cold Weather All-Terrain Vehicle (CATV) program and the company has received a $278 million contract for production units, spare parts and contractor logistics support.

Beowulf
Whether operating in swamps or the frozen arctic, BAE Systems’ Beowulf is based on proven, existing solutions and capable of moving personnel and cargo under the most remote and harshest conditions

The win further confirms BAE Systems as the industry leader in the design and production of military all-terrain vehicles for operations in harsh terrains and in the toughest weather conditions.

Beowulf is an unarmored, tracked, and highly versatile vehicle for carrying personnel and a variety of payloads in either of its two compartments. Beowulf can traverse snow, ice, rock, sand, mud, and swamp conditions, and can operate in steep mountain environments. Its amphibious feature also allows it to swim in flooded areas or coastal waters. This marks the first sale of Beowulf, which is based on its sister BvS10 armored variant in service with several European nations.

As the focus on Arctic Mobility operations grows, we see increasing opportunities in other markets for the BvS10 and Beowulf with an emerging demand to replace legacy BV206s.

«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», said Mark Signorelli, vice president of business development at BAE Systems Platforms & Services. «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».

Beowulf’s articulated mobility system is key to its effectiveness, providing optimal maneuverability across varying surfaces. Its modular design can be reconfigured for multiple missions, such as logistical support, disaster and humanitarian relief, search and rescue, and other missions as required.

Its large windows and spacious cabin make Beowulf suitable to the tasks for the CATV program, including search and rescue, defense support to civilian authorities, and homeland defense. Its modern, commercial design ensures soldiers’ operational effectiveness in executing a wide variety of difficult missions.

Beowulf successfully completed the prototype evaluation phase of the CATV program earlier this year in Alaska. It performed in multiple tasks while remaining fully mission capable. The testing included amphibious operations, navigating terrain with varying levels of complexity, starting and operating in extreme cold weather, and most critically, user assessment by soldiers.

Beowulf is built by BAE Systems Hägglunds in northern Sweden, adding firsthand experience in operating in an arctic environment. The platform includes several key components from U.S. suppliers, such as its engine, transmission, and hydraulic system. The CATV program will replace the legacy fleet of Small Unit Support Vehicles (SUSVs), also built by BAE Systems Hägglunds, and known internationally as the BV206. The BV206 has been in service globally, including with the U.S. Armed Forces, since the early 1980s.

Cold Weather All-Terrain Vehicle (CATV)
BAE Systems wins U.S. Army’s CATV competition, receives $278 million contract