Five Cold Weather All-Terrain Vehicles (CATVs) have been delivered to the U.S. Army 11th Airborne Division at Fort Wainwright, Alaska. The idea to use snowmobiles in the interim came from the Canadian Armed Forces. The 11th Airborne has a Canadian deputy commanding general of operations as part of an international partnership.The defense publication Janes reported that as the 11th Airborne phases out the ageing small unit support vehicles (SUSVs), it is adding two snowmobiles per company until its CATVs are delivered. BAE Systems delivered the first two CATVs to the army for testing earlier in the boreal summer. The last three were delivered by the end of the fiscal year (FY). The US Army’s CATVs – non-armoured variants of BAE Systems’ BvS10 Beowulf – are at Fort Wainwright’s Northern Warfare Training Center (NWTC) for operator training and testing.
Beowulf is built by BAE Systems Hägglunds in northern Sweden, adding firsthand experience in operating in an arctic environment. The platform includes several key components from U.S. suppliers, such as its engine, transmission, and hydraulic system. The Cold Weather All-Terrain Vehicle (CATV) program will replace the legacy fleet of Small Unit Support Vehicles (SUSVs), also built by BAE Systems Hägglunds, and known internationally as the BV206. The BV206 has been in service globally, including with the U.S. Armed Forces, since the early 1980s. On 22 August 2022, BAE Systems and Department of Defense announced a $278 Million dollar fixed-price contract including spare parts and contractor logistics support to procure 163 vehicles delivered by 2029 for the US Army Cold Weather All-Terrain Vehicle (CATV) program.
The Cold Weather All-Terrain Vehicle (CATV) will utilize components from US suppliers for its engines, transmission, and hydraulics. The Beowulf will replace the current Hägglunds Bandvagn 206 (Bv 206) based Small Unit Support Vehicles (SUSV) from BAE Systems Hägglunds in use by the US Army since the 1980s. Beowulf is an unarmored, tracked, and highly versatile vehicle for carrying personnel and a variety of payloads in either of its two compartments. Beowulf can traverse snow, ice, rock, sand, mud, and swamp conditions, and can operate in steep mountain environments. Its amphibious feature also allows it to swim in flooded areas or coastal waters. Beowulf’s articulated mobility system is key to its effectiveness, providing optimal maneuverability across varying surfaces.
Its modular design can be reconfigured for multiple missions, such as logistical support, disaster and humanitarian relief, search and rescue, and other missions as required. Its large windows and spacious cabin make Beowulf suitable to the tasks for the CATV program, including search and rescue, defense support to civilian authorities, and homeland defense. Its modern, commercial design ensures soldiers’ operational effectiveness in executing a wide variety of difficult missions.Beowulf successfully completed the prototype evaluation phase of the CATV program earlier this year in Alaska. It performed in multiple tasks while remaining fully mission capable. The testing included amphibious operations, navigating terrain with varying levels of complexity, starting and operating in extreme cold weather, and most critically, user assessment by soldiers.