The Army is moving ahead on its effort to field the new Cold Weather All-Terrain Vehicle (CATV) after selecting two prototype offerings, including one from a team of Oshkosh Defense [OSK] and Singapore’s ST Engineering, with plans to award a production contract in the third quarter of fiscal year 2022. 

Tim Goddette, the Army’s program executive officer for combat support and combat service support, told Defense Daily the prototypes will be delivered by mid-June and will then go up to Alaska for evaluation from August through December.

Sgt. William Nagy with the 725th Brigade Support Battalion (Airborne), 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division demonstrates driving techniques in a small unit support vehicle (SUSV). Photo: U.S. Army

 “The Cold Weather All-Terrain Vehicle, or CATV, will provide Arctic Warriors a modernized ground platform for extended operations and force projection in the region. The existing vehicle, Small Unit Support Vehicle (SUSV), is no longer sustainable,” Goddette said.

The move to replace its SUSVs, which Goddette noted will reach obsolescence in FY ‘23, is a key piece of the Army’s new Arctic strategy, released last month, that includes a call for procuring a new platform to offer improved mobility in cold-weather, mountainous conditions (Defense Daily, March 16). 

Goddette said the Army plans to spend $6.6 million on CATV research and development and $9.3 million toward procurement this fiscal year. 

The Army expects CATV will transport up to nine personnel and support emergency medical evacuation, command and control and general-cargo transportation missions, according to Goddettee, who added the procurement objective is for 110 vehicles and the acquisition objective is for 163. 

Oshkosh Defense announced Monday it has been selected as one of the participants in the competitive prototyping phase for CATV and will offer a version of ST Engineering’s Bronco 3 platform.

“We are confident that the Oshkosh CATV will enable Soldiers to efficiently move personnel and supplies in the most extreme conditions, and we look forward to getting them into the hands of the end user for testing and evaluation,” Pat Williams, Oshkosh Defense’s vice president of U.S. Army and Marine Corps programs, said in a statement. 

Oshkosh said it will deliver two prototypes to the Army for testing, a general purpose vehicle and a cargo variant, and said the platforms will be evaluated on payload, mobility, crush resistance, swimming, and transportability.

“The new vehicle design will be built with the combined expertise of Oshkosh Defense and draws on the rich heritage of the Bronco family of vehicles, a proven, robust and versatile articulated platform which has been in operation since 2001,” Lee Shiang Long, president of land systems for ST Engineering, said in a statement. 

The Army did not respond to requests to confirm the second team selected to participate in the CATV competitive prototyping phase.

Last July, BAE Systems announced it was offering its Beowulf tracked platform for CATV, which is the unarmored variant of its BvS10 all-weather tracked vehicle that has five current international customers including the U.K. Royal Marines (Defense Daily, July 16 2020). 

BAE Systems’ Hägglunds subsidiary built the current SUSVs, the Bv206, which has been in operation since the 1980s.