Marines Replacing The Legacy Light Armored Vehicle
by U.S. Marine Corps Matt Gonzales, Systems Command
Marine Corps Systems Command is working toward the next phase of
replacing the legacy Light Armored Vehicle with a modern Advanced
March 31, 2020 - A Light Armored Vehicle-25 with Company C, 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, is used to secure a position during a Marine Corps Combat Readiness Evaluation (MCCRE) at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, California. The MCCRE is used to formally evaluate Marines on their combat readiness prior to their upcoming deployment. (Image
created by USA Patriotism! from U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Corey A. Mathews)
Armored Reconnaissance was the subject of a Capability Based
Assessment, the results of which were summarized in a 2019 Joint
Requirements Oversight Council-validated Initial Capabilities
Document produced by the Marine Corps’ Combat Development and
Integration. The CBA pitted Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalions
against a peer threat, and identified shortfalls and gaps in
CD&I emphasized the need for a modern
purpose-built ARV. As the core manned, next-generation system, ARV
must possess transformational capabilities to enable LAR Battalions
to gain contact with and collect on peer-threat forces. It must
accomplish this goal without becoming decisively engaged, while also
successfully waging the counter-reconnaissance fight.
After the analysis and various other supporting activities, the
ARV concept emerged as a transformational required capability. The
characteristics differentiating the ARV from current systems include
a battle management system, enhanced vision technologies for
increased situational awareness, and target tracking and engagement
The Program Manager for Light Armored Vehicles
is pursuing this capability to support LAR Battalions, provide them
with additional capabilities and set the conditions to transform the
way they fight.
“Any ARV path forward will continue to be
informed by the ongoing [Office of Naval Research] Technology
Demonstrator effort, the ARV Analysis of Alternatives, Phase III
Force Design outputs, additional Government [Requests for
Information], senior leadership direction and industry feedback,”
said John “Steve” Myers, Program Manager for MCSC’s LAV portfolio.
A Collaborative Effort
In the early planning stages, the Marine Corps envisioned the
ARV as a replacement combat vehicle for the LAV. Over time,
officials began to view the ARV as a vehicle platform equipped with
a suite of advanced reconnaissance capabilities, with an open system
architecture that can sense, shoot, move, communicate and remain
transportable as part of the Naval Expeditionary Force.
PM LAV is leading the acquisition
planning effort to help realize this next-generation reconnaissance
vehicle. The portfolio is collaborating with ONR and the
Capabilities Development Directorate of Headquarters Marine Corps,
Capitalizing on their Detroit Arsenal location, PM LAV
is working with Combat Capabilities Development Command Ground
Vehicle Systems Center to update the ARV concept as a tool to
analyze impacts of capability changes. Recognizing commonalities
exist among the ARV and the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle, the
Army, Navy and Marine Corps are working together to ensure
collaboration for those capability gaps.
ONR is conducting
research on advanced technologies to inform requirements, technology
readiness assessments and competitive prototyping efforts for the
In 2019, ONR selected two vendors to design, fabricate
and test full-scale technology demonstration platforms. Both
platforms are expected to be ready for government evaluation in the
fourth quarter of fiscal year 2020.
Through ONR’s efforts,
the Ground Combat Element Division of CDD has been refining a set of
requirements for the ARV to meet the future reconnaissance mission
of the Marine Corps. PM LAV will leverage this information in a
performance specification to be released to industry partners to
build the ARV.
The collaboration between PM LAV, ONR and CD&I
is crucial to the success of the ARV.
collaboration between the materiel developer, technologist and
combat developer is essential to achieving the next-generation
capabilities required to transform legacy armored reconnaissance
into a modern, combat credible force,” said Kurt Koch, GCE Division,
Koch noted how the strong partnerships forged over the
last three years set the conditions to develop the core of a
next-generation, combat vehicle system—mobile on land and water—to
serve as a manned hub coordinating the actions of unmanned ground
and aerial robotic sensor, and weapon systems.
The Path Forward
has taken several steps to ensure the success of the ARV.
In 2019, PM LAV released a Request for Information to industry
comprising a set of attributes for a transformational vehicle. Based
on responses to the RFI, the program office met with several vendors
interested in becoming a prime vendor for ARV.
originally planned to hold an industry day in May 2020 for the
Competitive Prototyping Phase. However, the ongoing COVID-19
pandemic caused the event to be rescheduled to the fourth quarter of
fiscal year 2020.
“We still want to hold an industry day so
we can have an open discussion with industry, provide more
clarification and answer any questions from our industry partners,”
said Maryann Lawson, MCSC’s project lead for ARV.
to industry engagements, the evaluation of Science and Technology
efforts as well as ongoing CDD and performance specification
refinement should yield the information necessary to move into the
Competitive Prototyping phase.
“PM LAV will focus efforts
targeted on industry RFIs and strategic small group engagements,”
The Marine Corps plans to use the Ground Vehicle
Systems Other Transaction Agreement with the National Advanced
Mobility Consortium to release a draft request for prototype
proposal, or RPP, for the ARV base variant in the fourth quarter of
fiscal year 2020.
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