The Marine Corps’ top general is interested in a new all-terrain, support vehicle as his force trains for a potential fight in harsh cold-weather conditions, but he said a lack of funding is restricting a search in the near term.
Gen. Robert Neller, the Marine Corps commandant, told reporters Wednesday a replacement for the force’s Bv206 tracked vehicle, originally built in the 1970’s, may be required as troops continue to prepare for increased activity in the Arctic region.
“There’s a lot of interest. But you’ve got to give me the money to buy it,” Neller said. “I’ve talked to the Army about this. I think we both have a requirement, but right now it’s just it is not gotten to the point where we’ve put it in and tried to get budgeted.”
BAE System’s Hägglunds subsidiary originally built the Bv206, and the company is now looking to offer its BvS10 as a potential all-terrain tracked vehicle to the Marine Corps.
In February, Marines stationed in Norway participated in a BvS10 vehicle training exercise with the U.K. Royal Marines to test out driving the vehicle in colder, snowier conditions.
BAE Systems’ brought BvS10 to the Modern Day Marine event in September amid growing interest in the potential offering, while company officials reiterated that there has not been direction from senior leadership on officially beginning a Bv206 replacement effort (Defense Daily, Sept. 26).
Neller on Wednesday said the increasing attention to potential activity in the Arctic will push the force to look for new solutions that allow greater capability advantage.
“To operate in the high hot area around the equator is one thing, but to go north of the Arctic circle, if you’ve ever been there in the winter, it’s a whole other game. And you can’t just show up, you have to practice,” Neller said.