The service awarded BAE Systems’ American unit and its Swedish business a $278 million contract that includes production units, spare parts and contractor logistics support, according to an Aug. 22 company statement.
To replace its aging Small Unit Support Vehicle, the Army evaluated both offerings in Alaska’s Cold Regions Test Center from August to December 2021. The SUSV — also built by BAE Systems — is based on 1960s and 1970s technology, and was last procured in the early 1980s. The Army plans to buy 163 Cold Weather All-Terrain Vehicles.
BAE submitted to the competition Beowulf, an unarmored, tracked vehicle that can carry people and payloads in either of its two compartments.
“Beowulf can traverse snow, ice, rock, sand, mud, and swamp conditions, and can operate in steep mountain environments,” the company statement said. “Its amphibious feature also allows it to swim in flooded areas or coastal waters.”
The Army is the first customer for Beowulf, which is based on the BvS10 armored variant used by five European countries: Sweden, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France and Austria.
The U.S. military is increasingly focusing on preparedness in the Arctic region. The Army released its Arctic strategy last year, which stresses the need to modernize and ramp up the service’s presence as Russia and China continue to assert dominance in the region.
The strategy outlines how the Army will generate, train, organize and equip its forces to partner with allies, secure national interests and maintain regional stability.
Earlier this year, the Army announced it will reactivate the 11th Airborne Division in Alaska and remove Stryker combat vehicles from the force structure there. It also plans to install one of its five multidomain task forces in the Arctic.
Jen Judson is an award-winning journalist covering land warfare for Defense News. She has also worked for Politico and Inside Defense. She holds a Master of Science degree in journalism from Boston University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kenyon College.