While the Corps plans to scrap its tank battalions the Marines are still in pursuit of a new armored reconnaissance vehicle to replace the legacy light armored vehicle.
It’s called the Advanced Reconnaissance Vehicle, and Marine Corps Systems Command noted in a news release that prototypes from two vendors should be ready for evaluations by the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2020.
The Corps says it expects a final request for prototype proposal by spring 2021.
In 2019, the Corps announced it had selected two vendors, General Dynamics and SAIC, to design and build full-scale prototypes of the new ARV vehicle.
Marine Corps Systems Command detailed in the news release that an assessment had “identified shortfalls and gaps in capability” when the legacy LAV was pitted against a peer threat.
Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. David Berger has said that current light armored reconnaissance battalions across the Corps are outmoded for the high-end fight against adversaries like Russia and China.
“Light Armored Reconnaissance today is built great for another Desert Shield, Desert Storm,” Berger said previously said. “I don’t see that likelihood as being very great.”
But the top Marine noted that reconnaissance and counter reconnaissance was vital to a fight against near-peer rivals.
“No question in my mind” when going up against a capable adversary “that it pays to be spread out and dispersed,” Berger told reporters in April.
“What we have to do now is transition to a lighter footprint, more expeditionary, more in support of a littoral environment,” Berger said. The top Marine said a future LAR unit should be able to collect information even potentially offshore.
Marine Corps Systems Command said in the news release that it wants a “battle management system, enhanced vision technologies for increased situational awareness, and target tracking and engagement capabilities,” for its new ARV.
An industry day for the ARV was slated to run in May 2020 but has been pushed back to fourth quarter of fiscal year 2020, the release said.
Shawn Snow is the senior reporter for Marine Corps Times and a Marine Corps veteran.