Army training center in Alaska is first in line for new cold weather vehicles

In late 2023, the Northern Warfare Training Center at Fort Wainwright, Alaska will receive the first of the Army’s new vehicles capable of operating in the Arctic. (The American army)

Soldiers at Fort Wainwright, Alaska, will be the first to receive the Army’s new Arctic-capable vehicle late next year, the service said Monday.

The cold weather all-terrain vehicle, or CATV, will be produced by Michigan-based BAE Land and Armaments, which won a $278 million contract for 110 vehicles, the military said in a news release.

Dubbed “Beowulf” by BAE, the vehicles replace the army’s decades-old small unit support vehicles. The first four are expected to arrive at Fort Wainwright’s Northern Warfare Training Center in the last quarter of 2023, the Army said.

CATVs are unarmored, tracked and capable of amphibious operations and climbing steep slopes, BAE said in a press release on Monday.

The base version is a modular platform, which means it can be adapted for various missions, such as homeland defense, cargo transport and search and rescue, BAE said.

“Beowulf can traverse snow, ice, rock, sand, mud and swamps and can operate in steep mountainous environments,” BAE said. “Its amphibious characteristic also allows it to swim in flooded areas or coastal waters.”

The vehicle can also maneuver through muskeg, a type of North American bog that is a mixture of water and dead vegetation often shrouded in a layer of moss, the military said.

Each vehicle can carry up to nine soldiers, the army said.

The Army's new cold weather all-terrain vehicle will be able to traverse snow, ice, rock, sand, mud and swamps on steep grades in arctic conditions.

The Army’s new cold weather all-terrain vehicle will be able to traverse snow, ice, rock, sand, mud and swamps on steep grades in arctic conditions. (The American army)

The new vehicles represent another step in the implementation of the Army’s Arctic strategy, which aims to train and equip soldiers to operate and fight in extreme cold for extended periods with minimal outside support.

“Regaining Arctic Dominance,” the strategic report released by the military in March 2021, outlined how the service could successfully partner with Arctic allies and maintain regional stability in competition with Russia and China.

The transition to a new cold-weather vehicle was overdue, the commander of Alaska’s 11th Airborne Division said in the Army news release.

“Small unit support vehicles were great in their day, but have had to be replaced over the past two decades,” Major General Brian Eifler said.

“These new vehicles will provide our Arctic Angels with capable and reliable mobility and increase their survivability in the harshest conditions Alaska and the Arctic have to offer,” he said.

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