U.S. Marine Corps Selects Two Companies for Recon Vehicle Prototypes
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Reliable vehicles are a major component of a successful military. With technology advancing rapidly, the branches of the military need to ensure that they’re using the most up-to-date vehicles possible. Contractors are brought in to develop vehicles for land, air, and sea transportation.
According to Defense News, the U.S. Marine Corps has sought out prototypes for a replacement light armored vehicle (LAV). The LAV-25s, which are currently in operation, have been used since the 1980s. Vehicle technology has changed, and the needs of the military have changed as well. The U.S. Marine Corps is looking to replace their light armored vehicles.
The new vehicles will be amphibious
The Marines hope to replace the light armored vehicle with an advanced reconnaissance vehicle (ARV). They need the ARV to be a manager on the battlefield. Because of this, communication equipment is an important part of the vehicle.
To be as versatile as possible, the Marines also want the ARV to be amphibious. Prototypes for an ARV have water jets to provide propulsion underwater. Smoothly transitioning between running on land and water will be important for the vehicle.
The U.S. Marine Corps accepted proposals for prototypes from different contractors. According to Naval Technology, the Marine Corps selected prototypes from General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) and Textron Systems. These two manufacturers will compete to be the ARV provider for the Marines.
Textron Systems Cottonmouth
Textron has designed a vehicle known as the Cottonmouth. This vehicle is 6x6 wheeled and runs on both land and water as requested.
It took less than nine months for Textron to design the Cottonmouth ARV. Textron Systems boasts that the vehicle was created with the missions and values of the Marines in mind. As a finalist in the ARV competition, the Cottonmouth has left a strong first impression on the Marines.
The next step is gathering data from the Cottonmouth prototype. Textron will test the Cottonmouth in different scenarios and deliver this data to the Marines for evaluation in early 2023.
General Dynamics Land Systems
The other finalist in the Marine’s ARV prototype competition is General Dynamics Land Systems, which has been a long-time contractor for the Marines. GDLS manufactures the LAV-25s, which will be replaced by the new ARV.
Utilizing the latest technological developments is the key behind GDLS’s plans for the ARV. Robotics and artificial intelligence are major components of their prototype. Representatives from GDLS claim that crews in the new vehicle will be able to interact with robots in the air and on land.
Open architecture is another aspect of the GDLS design. The new advanced reconnaissance vehicle needs to be capable of adopting new technologies as they’re developed.
Both Textron and GDLS will deliver their prototypes and data to the Marine Corps in 2023. Once this phase of the competition is complete, the Marines will spend six months evaluating the two ARVs to determine which manufacturer will be picked.
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