Potential bonanza: Elbit, Textron cooperate to replace light armored vehicles of US Marines 

The Marine Corps wants to replace the LAV-25, introduced in the 1980s, with a new vehicle. The winning company will receive an order for about 500 vehicles. Elbit and Textron are jointly offering a prototype  

Textron photo

The U.S. Marine Corps Systems Command is working toward the next phase of replacing its legacy armored vehicle with an advanced, modern reconnaissance vehicle called the ARV. Elbit Systems America will provide a 360-degree situational awareness system, based on the company's IronVision solution, for the vehicle.   

The Advanced Reconnaissance Vehicle, or ARV, is intended to replace all of the LAV-25 light armored vehicles built by General Dynamics Land Systems that have been in use since the 1980s. "As we understand it, the intent here is that the Marines want to replace their current fleet of...over 600 LAV-25s currently in service with up to 500 Advanced Reconnaissance Vehicles," said David Phillips, Textron's senior vice president for land systems.

The Marine Corps released a request for prototype proposals for the vehicle on March 30 with a May 3 due date, Phillips said. For the prototype, the Marines are asking for a vehicle that includes a tethered unmanned aircraft system with auto-launch and retrieval, an open architecture approach that allows them to integrate various capabilities including battle management systems and communications suites. The vehicle should weigh less than 18.5 tons and be small enough to fit four of them on an amphibious ship for beach landings.

Textron invested more than $6 million building its seven-seat prototype vehicle for the program, Phillips told reporters. "We sent that prototype system out to the National Automotive Test Center and collected over 700 miles of mobility data," Phillips said, adding that the prototype has an open system architecture that will streamline integration of existing government sensors. The prototype was also designed to give it the ability to swim.

As mentioned, at this stage the vehicle is only a prototype for the demonstration of capabilities. It is not yet clear when the Marines will select a specific vehicle for mass production.  

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