BAE Systems is looking to offer its BvS10 as an option for the Marine Corp’s potential search for a new all-terrain tracked vehicle, as the force begins considering options needed to better traverse harsher conditions in the face of increased activity in the Arctic region.
Keith Klemmer, program director for BAE Systems’ U.S. BvS10 effort, told reporters that officials haven’t officially started searching for a tracked vehicle replacement but had a group of Marines test the vehicle during an exercise with the U.K. Royal Marines earlier this year in Norway.
“As the Marine Corps starts to explore replacements to the Bv206, they will see that this vehicle really fits all their needs. It’s a vehicle that’s being made today. It’s a mature design. It’s a very flexible design,” Klemmer said. “This is the vehicle that’s positioned to replace [the Bv206].”
Klemmer said that, while senior Marines leadership haven’t signified an immediate need to replace the Bv206, BAE Systems is looking to showcase the vehicle’s capabilities to meet previously stated needs for improved engine performance and ability to function in icy Arctic conditions.
BAE Systems brought their BvS10 to Modern Day Marine to highlight the vehicle’s updated twin-cab articulated steering system, improved Cummins 6.7 liter diesel engine, ability to function in temperatures as low as -50 degrees Fahrenheit, and traverse through up to six feet of snow.
In February, members of the Marine Rotational Force Europe participated in a BvS10 vehicle training with the U.K. Royal Marines to better understand how to operate the vehicle in colder, snowier conditions.
Marine Corps officials have previously indicated a need for an all-terrain vehicle that would be required to traverse through icy and snow-heavy conditions with growing attention to Russia’s increasing activity in the Arctic region.
“This is what it’s made for, and what’s its primary purpose is. You talk about Arctic, you’re talking about five, six feet of snow. This vehicle excels in that,” Klemmer said. “And the articulation system is really the secret. If you can imagine, the rear cab actually has its own power locks. So it actually feeds off the engine and it has a chassis that feeds its own power”
BvS10, first delivered in 2004, has four current customers, France, Netherlands, Sweden and U.K. and Austria is currently buying the vehicles.
BAE System’s Hägglunds subsidiary built the Bv206, the Marines’ current all-terrain tracked vehicle in the 1970s, delivering 1,100 across the services. Klemmer said the number is down to around 200 active vehicles across the department as officials looking for a platform with greater power generation capabilities.
The Army released a request for information in June to survey options for an unarmored Joint All Terrain All Weather Support Vehicle (JAASV), which may potentially replace its Bv206, known as the the Small Unit Support Vehicle (SUSV).
BAE Systems responded to the Army’s with details on BvS10’s unarmored variant, Beowulf. The RFP for JAASV is expected this fall (Defense Daily, August 30).