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Two teams vying for US Army's new Arctic vehicle competition

The US Army has selected two teams to build tracked vehicle prototypes that it will test out in harsh Artic conditions with the goal of awarding one winner with a production contract in 2022.

Both BAE Systems and an Oshkosh Defense and ST Engineering team have been selected to each build two cold weather all-terrain vehicle (CATV) prototypes, according to industry sources and the army.

The teams will then deliver their pair of prototypes by mid-June. Then from August to December, the army will conduct extreme cold weather testing and evaluation with the vehicles in Alaska, programme executive officer for combat support and combat service support Timothy Goddette told Janes in a 5 April email.

“We are excited to explore the bounds of the systems we will assess in extreme cold weather, mountainous, and high-altitude environments along with industry when we embark on the soldier touchpoint/user-evaluation events later this year,” Goddette wrote.

“Data gathered during the evaluation will help inform the downselect decision for the production contract… in the third quarter of fiscal year 2022,” he added, noting that the procurement objective is for 110 vehicles, and acquisition objective is set for 163 vehicles.

As for the two contenders, BAE Systems prototype is based off of its unarmoured Beowulf, a ‘sister’ to the armoured BvS10, and includes a modular design for multiple missions such as logistical support, disaster and humanitarian relief, search and rescue, and more.

“Leveraging the BvS10 means the Beowulf design is already mature and ready for production,” the company wrote in July 2020. “Beowulf also benefits from efficient lifecycle management and routine maintenance and sustainment costs by leveraging common components in the BvS10.”

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