US Marine Corps is getting the GDLS’ next-gen ARV prototype

WASHINGTON — The United States Marine Corps [USMC] receives an advanced reconnaissance vehicle [ARV] prototype from General Dynamics. The prototype will be sent to the USMC on Friday, December 23, the company announced via its official Twitter account. GD’s ARV will go through a series of tests and evaluations in the ongoing next-generation ARV competition.

US Marine Corps is getting the GDLS' next-gen ARV prototype
Photo credit: GDLS, Twitter

The US is preparing in the late 2020s and at least the next decade to retire the light armored vehicles [LAVs] of the US Marine Corps. In reality, they are still operationally ready to fight, but time is running out, maintenance is becoming more expensive, and military tactics and warfare are changing.

This requires a new next-generation land system to transport a group of Marines around the battlefield. Thus, the ARV program was created, in which only two participants remained – General Dynamics and Textron Systems.

Despite the advanced phase of the competition, the development and need for a new ARV still remain unclear. Skeptical opinions have already begun to be heard about the future of ARVs in the US Marine Corps. A similar opinion is expressed by General David Berger, the commander of the US Marine Corps.

Next-generation ARVs will have to feature new technologies, according to Pentagon requirements. This implies the use of sensors, unmanned aerial vehicles, networked connectivity, lethality, and easy transportability. The ARV is supposed to have communication systems and lethality options to help the crew and the vehicle avoid some threats.

The main function of the ARV remains reconnaissance. The ground vehicle must play a key role in some offensive and defensive actions, deception and assault, as well as support landing operations during combat maneuvers.

However, sources claim that some things from the LAV will be retained in the ARV. A medium caliber gun, for example, will most likely stay in the 25mm to 30mm range. Armored capabilities and strong on- and off-road maneuverability also remain overlapping features of the LAV.

As previously mentioned, the ARV is expected to deploy unmanned ground systems, but according to some sources, these capabilities will be limited. Most likely due to advancing technology and changing warfare, an electronic warfare system integrated into ARVs is entirely possible.

The idea of the US Marine Corps is that future ARVs will also operate in autonomous mode. I.e. the exchange of information between them is completely possible. In this way, the ARVs will act as a group of systems and not just as a vehicle transporting Marines. The ARV may also play the role of command, control, communications, and computer/unmanned aerial systems center.

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