SAIC continues tests of ‘quarterback-style’ ARV
Tests will continue of an Advanced Reconnaissance Vehicle (ARV) technology demonstrator built by Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), company representatives have told Shephard.
SAIC is carrying on with the data collection phase as the ARV undergoes trials, including open-ocean testing. The prototype has already successfully operated ‘several kilometers in the Pacific Ocean’, making the platform ideal for amphibious operations, a company executive explained during the Modern Day Marine event in Washington DC on 10-12 May.
The ARV is 7.3m long and weighs almost 16.3t, carrying a crew of three plus four scouts.
One key feature that makes SAIC’s ARV different than other platforms is the hybrid-electric powertrain, powered by lithium-ion batteries, and six individually electric traction motors.
The SAIC executive described this as a ‘unique, one-of-a-kind amphibious hybrid electric platform’, adding: ‘This is not a traditional engine’.
A hybrid-electric capability is meant to reduce the maintenance and refuelling burden on operators, helping the ARV to function in rugged terrains and enabling militaries to adapt to new styles of combat.
Additionally, the ARV is designed to be ‘driven by wire’, so that it is easy to upgrade and install new third-party systems.
While SAIC representatives declined to comment on other features, they explained that the ARV’s network of sensors, integrated battle management systems and capability to operate untethered UAVs provides a constant data flow which turns the platform into ‘a quarterback-style vehicle’ for C5ISR operations.
The ARV project is sponsored by the US Office of Naval Research, which awarded SAIC a contract worth USD20.5 million in 2019 to deliver the ARV technology demonstrator.
Media reports in 2021 suggested that SAIC would not participate in the prototype phase of the ARV, while General Dynamics Land Systems, Textron Systems and BAE Systems were all touted as contenders.
In response to a query by Shephard about future involvement in the ARV project, SAIC would only state that ‘testing and evaluation of the ARV technology demonstrator is part of and a continuation of SAIC’s contractual obligation to the Office of Naval Research’.
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