BAE Beowolf All-Terrain Vehicle Addresses US Army Arctic and Indo-Pacific Needs

The Beowolf CATV
The Beowolf CATV

BAE Systems has made the initial deliveries of its BvS10 Beowolf to the US Army’s Northern Warfare Training Center at Fort Wainwright, Alaska under the contract awarded in mid-2022 for the Cold Weather All-Terrain Vehicle, or CATV. The Beowolf is replacing the BV206, also a BAE vehicle, that has been in service since the Cold War period.

The Beowolf CATV is vehicle a full-tracked, unarmoured, and articulated vehicle system consisting of a driven forward module and rear mission module. Its mobility covers the full range of terrains including soft sand, bogs and snow as well as being fully amphibious. It has a top speed of over 64 kmph (40 miles per hour) and a range of 400 km (250 miles).

The forward module accommodates the crew of two while a number of rear module variants are offered configured for various mission requirements. These include personnel transport for up to fourteen, logistics support, disaster response or humanitarian relief, and search and rescue (SAR). It is not only C130 air transportable but also externally as a single load by CH-47 helicopter or by UH-60 as single modules (that are easily reconnected on site).

The main current focus of the Beowolf CATV being supplied to the Alaska based 11th Airborne Division is operating is the wilderness and cold weather of its Alaska home base. However, it should be recognized that the BvS10 is equally well suited to meeting the operational demands of the division’s manoeuvre brigades in other potential Indo-Pacific contingencies. Falling under the command of US Army Pacific (PACCOM) means that the 11th Airborne could be called upon to respond throughout is theatre of responsibility. The Beowolf has the requisite capabilities essential to these particular environments including the ability to execute ship-to-shore water movements including crossing beaches and littorals and traversing jungle, rice paddies and marginal terrain.

The Beowolf CATV
The Beowolf CATV

It worth noting that the predecessor to the 11th Airborne, the 25th Infantry Division included a Stryker Armoured Combat Vehicle Brigade. The Stryker’s characteristics were likely not the most appropriate for operating in the extreme marginal terrain and cold/snow of Alaska. However, having a highly mobile, armoured manoeuvre force must have been viewed as having significant operational benefits when the Stryker unit was established in Alaska in 2001.

The availability of combat proven armoured version of the Beowolf, the Viking, offers the US Army to field an armoured force capability that possesses the requisite mobility for not only Alaska but also other PACCOM contingencies. They would be joining the fielding of Viking by the UK Royal Marines and French, Netherlands, Austrian, Swedish and Germany Armies already employing it.

In addition, this BvS10, as a BAE representative confirmed, is compatible to incorporating weapons systems such as 30mm autocannon, mortars, air defence, anti-armour, infantry, command, and other necessary roles. The resulting combined arms manoeuvre force would be responsive both to an arctic campaign or potential combat demands of the Indo-Pacific.

by Stephen W. Miller