BAE Systems confirmed that it has been contracted by the US Army to provide two of its Beowolf articulated tracked all-terrain vehicles for evaluation.
The systems are being considered under the Army Cold Weather All-Terrain Vehicle (CATV) program. CATV is an element in the Army efforts to enhance its arctic and cold weather operational capabilities. This increased attention is at least partly in response to particularly Russian Federation organization and deployment of brigades specifically structured and equipped for extreme cold and the unique conditions of northern regions. The US initiated this effort for modernizing its cold weather all-terrain capabilities in 2018.
The CATV will replace the BV206, an earlier BAE Systems vehicle, which has been in US service as the Small Unit Support Vehicle (SUSV) since the early 1980s. Over 11,000 BV206s have served in 37 countries. The Beowolf is significant evolution on the BV206 although it utilized the same articulated concept and wide tracked design that has proven successful in the most rugged and extreme environments worldwide.
Mark Signorelli, BAE vice president of business development explained “Beowulf, and its armored sister vehicle, the BvS10, represent the most advanced vehicles in the world when it comes to operating anywhere, whether it’s snow, ice, rock, sand, mud, swamp, or steep mountainous environments. And its amphibious capability allows it to swim in flooded areas or coastal waters.”
Beowolf is essentially an unarmoured version of the BvS10 which is in service with five armies including the United Kingdom’s Royal Marines. It, thus, benefits from an established parts, support, and sustainment network. In fact, many of Beowolf’s key components such as the engine, transmission and hydraulic system are provided by US suppliers.