The Marine Corps on Wednesday released a new market survey to gauge industry’s input on building prototypes for its next reconnaissance vehicle and detailing plans to eventually award up to four contracts to start testing platforms in fiscal year 2021.
Officials are looking to kickstart the effort to replace its aging Light Armored Vehicles with the new Armored Reconnaissance Vehicle after pushing back the start of the program to better align with industry’s capability advancements, with plans to finalize an acquisition strategy by the third quarter of FY ’20.
“The ARV with incremental upgrade opportunities will yield a transformational platform significantly more capable than the legacy system fielded today and capable of achieving next generation armored reconnaissance objectives,” officials wrote in the notice.
The market survey follows a May 16 brief to industry on ARV and is meant to gauge progress on development of potential test vehicles and interest in participating in competitive prototyping ahead of the program’s EMD phase.
Officials have previously detailed plans to keep LAV’s, originally fielded in the 1980s, in service through 2035 while working to receive the first ARVs by 2023 (Defense Daily, Jan. 16).
ARV will eventually replace the LAV’s with the desired features such as autonomous and robotic capabilities, an electronic attack directed energy weapon, counter-UAS abilities, next-generation C4 systems and integration with an active protection system.
“It is desired that the proposed competitive prototypes would have the capability to display as many of these transformational capabilities as possible,” officials wrote.
The Marine Corps is also assessing the need for potential Command and Control, Logistics, Organic Precision Fires and Recovery variants of the vehicle.
Competitive prototyping for ARV would likely take place through FY ’23, with each vendor receiving a $10 million cost share to deliver one fully integrated ARV platform and one blast hull, according the Marine Corps.