The U.S. Marine Corps prepares to choose a new combat vehicle to replace the Light Armored Vehicle (LAV), according to a statement issued Monday by Office of Naval Research.
The Office of Naval Research (ONR) has announced that it sponsoring research to develop the next-generation Armored Reconnaissance Vehicle (ARV), in preparation to replace current fleet of ageing combat vehicles.
Since the 1980s, the LAV has supported Marine Air-Ground Task Force missions on the battlefield. While the LAV remains operationally effective, the life cycle of this system is set to expire in the mid-2030s. The Corps aims to replace the vehicle before then.
The future ARV will provide transformational sensor, communications and combat capabilities to collect and communicate information, while integrating robotics and artificial intelligence technologies in manned-unmanned teams. ARV will enable a crew to sense the operating environment using advanced on-board sensors and unmanned systems in order to detect, recognize and identify threats at extended ranges. Additionally, ARV will provide the warfighter with a survivable, mobile, networked and lethal platform to dominate the battle space.
Beginning in 2018, ONR awarded several contracts for full-system concept/trade studies, and for individual advanced technology research efforts, with those goals in mind.
In 2019, ONR awarded contracts to two defense companies to design, fabricate and test full-scale technology-demonstration vehicles.
One vehicle, by General Dynamics Land Systems, will incorporate advanced technologies available today, or in the near future around a notional unit price point. This design is designated as the “base vehicle” approach.
The other, by SAIC, is conceptualized as an “at-the-edge” vehicle with advanced technologies that might not be fully mature today but could be incorporated into the ARV as new capabilities, when threats and missions evolve. The objective of this approach is to envision the most advanced technology, beyond current capabilities.
Both technology demonstrator platforms should be ready for government evaluation near the end of 2020.
Additionally, ONR is investing in component technology development meant to enhance the armored reconnaissance mission of the future through investments in platform cybersecurity; logistics management; mobility; and autonomous aerial vehicles with Battelle, Cougaar Software, QinetiQ and SRI International, respectively.
To ensure full collaboration and a smooth transition of research products to the Marine Corps, close alignment is maintained with acquisition and requirements representatives from the Program Manager for Light Armored Vehicles within the Marine Corps Systems Command, and the Ground Combat Element Division within the Marine Corps Combat Development Command.