Home Automotive Cottonmouth Amphibious Recon Vehicle Prototype Joins The Marines

Cottonmouth Amphibious Recon Vehicle Prototype Joins The Marines

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Textron is first prototype of a 6×6 Cottonmouth wheeled amphibious reconnaissance vehicle to the US Marine Corps. It is one of two designs competing to become the Corps’ next Advanced Reconnaissance Vehicle or ARV. His winning ARV variant is set to replace the service. 40 years old light armored vehicleor LAV, a family of vehicles.

Textron delivered the Cottonmouth prototype to the Marine Corps on December 1 at the privately owned and operated Nevada Automotive Test Center in Silver Springs, Nevada. The delivery meant the completion of contractor validation testing of the prototype’s “maneuverability, swimming ability, vetronics integration, and his C4UAS.” [command, control, communications, and computers-unmanned aerial system] Mission Function” finished last August in New Orleans, Louisiana. It’s also worth noting that the delivered prototype is actually “his second iteration of the vehicle based on lessons learned from the original Alpha prototype vehicle and nearly 3,000 miles of testing,” according to Textron. .

Cottonmouth ARV prototype seen on Textron’s website. Credit: Textron

Textron was selected as one of two companies selected to build the ARV prototype last July, along with General Dynamics. The winning company will receive a contract worth up to $6.8 billion to supply up to 533 ARVs over five years.

The ARV program seeks to build vehicles for the Marine Corps’ Light Armored Reconnaissance (LAR) battalions. The vehicle will replace his fleet of LAVs, which are scheduled to be phased out in the mid-2030s, with systems that are more capable of capturing and analyzing battlefield data. The first vehicles of the LAV series entered service with the Marine Corps in 1983, providing mobility and combat support to LAR units.

Introducing the LAV family 7 major variants Each optimized to help Marines serve different missions. These include the LAV-25 for reconnaissance and reconnaissance, the LAV-LOG for logistics, the LAV-AT for anti-tank operations, the LAV-C2 for command and control, the LAV-M 81mm mortar variant, and the LAV for recovery. -R, and LAV-MEWSS mobile electronic warfare variants. With that said, the LAV-25 is the primary vehicle of choice for his LAR battalion and is the base variant of the LAV family. Over half of the 772 LAVs procured The Marine Corps between 1984 and 2003 was that variant.

Marines drive a LAV-25 along the beach at Royal Thai Marine Corps Base Samesan, Thailand after unloading from the US Navy landing craft Air Cushion during an amphibious assault exercise conducted at Exercise COBRA GOLD 2002 . Credit: DOD

Meet these shoes and comply with Marine Corps comprehensive policy ARV requirements issued at this time last year, Textron offers the Cottonmouth Amphibious Reconnaissance Vehicle, which serves as a “multi-domain command and control suite” intended to support LAR battalion expeditionary operations. It means that we are developing a cotton mouth with a focus on This allows the vehicle to more comprehensively monitor its surroundings and provide target information to her LAR units to engage threats beyond line of sight.

according to Textron, Cottonmouth measures 270 inches in length, 114.5 inches in width, and 121.9 inches in height. This is a dimension the company touts as one of the vehicle’s advantages for facilitating rapid deployment. A crew of 2 and a crew of 5 Marines can reside in the vehicle. Gross weight he is 37,000 pounds and can reach a top speed of 65 mph. Cottonmouth can self-deploy (swim to shore) for amphibious operations.You can also connect up to 4 vehicles with Ship to Shore Connectors or landing craft air-cushioned.

Slides from the Office of Naval Research presentation on ARVs. Credit: US Navy

Armament isn’t the main selling point of Textron’s ARV offering, and although it looks more spartan than the LAV-25’s 25mm chaingun, the company has designed the cottonmouth to accommodate the main gun turret.the prototype is smaller Remotely Operated Weapon Station 12.7 mm heavy machine gun and Javelin anti-tank guided missile launcher.

As for electronics, Textron only says the Cottonmouth will be equipped with “advanced full-spectrum reconnaissance and surveillance sensors,” but additional details on this point are sparse at the moment. However, the vehicle features an open architecture design that allows for streamlined integration of new electronics, software and other hardware upgrades as needed.

The company’s literature also highlighted how Cottonmouth is outfitting Elbit Systems of America. IronVision head-mounted display technologyIn fact, the system allows the crew to “see through” the vehicle’s hull. This is a significant improvement in situational awareness for armored crews who have long lacked this level of awareness while “pressing the button” in the vehicle’s hatch. Closed. However, it is unknown whether the prototype version of Cottonmouth incorporated this technology.

David Phillips, Senior Vice President, Onshore and Offshore Systems at Textron, said: “This vehicle was designed from the ground up by listening to customer requirements. Its small size allows Marines to quickly deploy next-generation combat power into combat, allowing commanders to handle any mission, anywhere.” increase.”

Significantly different from the original LAV variant, Textron’s Cottonmouth leverages drones to better accomplish the far-reaching reconnaissance missions the Marine Corps seeks in future ARVs. The service calls it the Command, Control, Communications, and Computerized Unmanned Aerial System (C4/UAS) variant of the ARV. From 30 miles away from the vehicle, he collects data and feeds it back to the ARV to transform it into actionable information. according to break defense.

The Marine Corps selects winning bids based solely on the C4/UAS variant of the vehicle, but service ultimately A total of 6 ARV variants Each is designed with its own set of features.

A slide from the Office of Naval Research presentation on ARVs detailing the desired capabilities of the Marine Corps. Credit: US Navy

BAE Systems, which the Marine Corps currently has as the prime contractor Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) Programis also tangentially leveraged by the ARV initiative. according to break defensethe Marine Corps contracted BAE Systems for this separate effort to study how ACV’s proprietary C4/UAS package might be used on ARVs.

Needless to say, the ARV envisioned by the Marine Corps could be an important feature. Equipped with high-tech reconnaissance and data-sharing systems, combat drones and anti-tank weapons, his future ARV will be a significant upgrade over its progenitor, his LAV-25. That’s when all these features really come to life.

Regardless of how the Marine Corps adopts ARVs, there is a clear interest in replacing the aging and accident-prone LAV family of vehicles. General Dynamics’ LAV-25 has proven over the years to be a valuable asset to the Marine Corps’ reconnaissance force, but the Government Accountability Office has since followed up with any other type analyzed in the study. found that the average accident rate was higher than that ofof the entity 2021 Military Vehicle Report.

Rendering of Textron’s Cottonmouth ARV prototype. Credit: Textron

However, how relevant ARVs are to future plans for the Marine Corps appears to be a moving target. The ARV program can be interpreted to some degree as being consistent with a broader military relocation of the Marine Corps. force design 2030 schedule.You can read more about this strategy herethe focus of the Marine Corps has shifted from its mission to defend against militants in the Middle East to its focus on dealing with nearly equal adversaries in the Indo-Pacific region. focus on reconnaissance.

This realignment requires a shift from inland operations to more littoral operations, 2022 update Specifically, it cites a planned transition from LAR battalions to more mobile reconnaissance units. This pivot should be equipped with appropriate equipment for Marines to support this turn.

The Marine Corps, in a budget request document, said ARVs are “essential to fulfilling the Corps’ requirements for Fleet Marine Corps 2030.” quoted by break defense, but senior Marines aren’t sure.as our friend task and purpose highlightMarine Corps Commanding General David Berger Force Design 2030 Strategy emphasized the question. “While we have repeatedly stated that full-area reconnaissance and counter-reconnaissance will be a key component of future contingencies, we are confident that additional wheeled manned armored ground reconnaissance units are the best and only answer, especially in the Indo-Pacific. No. area.”

Front view of the cottonmouth prototype on Textron’s website. Credit: Textron

again, 2022 Force Design Update, Berger instructed the Marine Corps to “confirm and validate all assumptions regarding programmed or potential future capabilities, such as the Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV)-30 and Advanced Reconnaissance Vehicle (ARV).” . .

Nonetheless, Cottonmouth is currently in the government evaluation stage and is projected to last through 2023, and the Marine Corps is also not expected to declare the winner of the ARV competition until then. It will likely take several more years in the 2030s before the tender reaches full operational capability.

Long before that, however, we learned how the ARV program would be justified in the Marine Corps’ reorientation of operations in the Pacific, and how it would ultimately be configured and how long it would take to reach production. It would be interesting to see exactly how many

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