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US Army weighing armour, mortar CATVs for Arctic

A convoy of Cold-Weather All-Terrain Vehicle perform command-and-control operations for the Joint Pacific Multinational Readiness Center training rotation in Fort Greely, Alaska. (Janes/Meredith Roaten)

The US Army needs to buy more Cold-Weather All-Terrain Vehicles (CATVs) and is considering buying an armoured variant in addition to the general-purpose and cargo variants it has already decided to buy, Major General Brian Eifler, commanding general of the 11th Airborne Division, told Janes on 21 February.

BAE Systems delivered five CATVs to the US Army's 11th Airborne Division in October 2023, and now the service has involved them in their first large-scale exercise. At least three of the vehicles participated in the Joint Pacific Multinational Readiness Center (JPMRC) 24-02 in Fort Greely, Alaska, held from 12 to 22 February, and their use in the exercise had leaders considering new ways to utilise them, Maj Gen Eifler said in an interview.

The current Army Acquisition Objective is 163, according to budget documents from 2023. Maj Gen Eifler said the 11th Airborne is preparing to receive roughly 40 of those vehicles. However, that fielding number is based on the Army Alaska mission before the 11th Airborne was reactivated in 2021, he noted.

Consequently, the acquisition objective should change to “have an Arctic capability to dominate the Arctic”, Maj Gen Eifler said. The 11th Airborne is still experimenting with the vehicles it has fielded, but Maj Gen Eifler said it is recommending the army buy more general-purpose and cargo CATVs and possibly buy armoured variants.

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