WASHINGTON: After grueling, freezing tests conducted in wintry Alaska, the two prototypes competing for the Army’s new Cold Weather All-Terrain vehicle (CATV) have survived to the next round of selection, a step closer to carrying soldiers in snowy theaters like the Arctic.
The prototypes, made by BAE Systems and Oshkosh Defense, along with its partner ST Engineering, are amphibious platforms designed to carry up to nine soldiers in temperatures down to -50 degrees Fahrenheit. One will replace the service’s decades-old Small Unit Support Vehicle.
“Both BAE and Oshkosh prototype offerings in the OTA [other transaction authority] were deemed successful,” an Army spokesperson told Breaking Defense in a statement. “Therefore they were both offered the opportunity to bid on the RFP [request for proposal] for production.”
A winner is expected to be chosen around the end of June, the spokesperson said.
“The U.S. Army must be capable of operating throughout the arctic region and other ECW [extreme cold weather] locations in all weather conditions in all types of terrain,” reads the competition’s final RFP, released on Jan. 14.
CATVs will have the “capability to conduct Homeland Defense (HD), Defense Support of Civil Authorities (DSCA), and Search and Rescue (SAR) mission sets as well as support year round training,” the RFP states. The CATV program is managed by Program Executive Office Combat Support & Combat Service Support.
The CATV program was a new start program in fiscal 2021 and PEO CS&CSS chose BAE Systems and Oshkosh Defense in April last year for competitive prototyping. BAE Systems submitted its BvS10 Beowulf vehicle, while Oshkosh Defense’s offering is derived from its Bronco 3 vehicle.
“We are evaluating the RFP we received from the U.S. Army, and continue to successfully demonstrate our Beowulf prototype platform in the CATV program evaluation,” a BAE spokesperson said.
Pat Williams, vice president and general manager of U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps programs at Oshkosh Defense, said in a statement that the company also planned to respond to the RFP.
The Army spokesperson did not provide a dollar amount associated with the single-award contract, stating that “we are in a competitive environment, to be determined at down select.” In its FY22 budget request, the Army requested about $16.5 million in procurement funds to buy 10 CATVs, but the Army is looking to buy dozens eventually.
The CATV contract will be for five years, with two one-year options. The service plans to buy 110 CATVs by the end of FY27, with 59 vehicles planned to go to regular Army and 51 earmarked for Army National Guard. In all, the Army hopes to get 163 vehicles by FY32.
The extreme cold weather vehicle will have a general purpose variant, as well as a cargo variant, according to the RFP, and be configurable for casualty evacuation or command and control missions. The vehicle will transport up to nine soldiers outfitted in arctic survival equipment.
BAE, Oshkosh cold weather vehicle prototypes survive Army’s Alaskan tests – Breaking Defense Breaking Defense is written by Andrew Eversden for breakingdefense.com