U.S. Army Announces New Cold Weather All-Terrain Vehicle for Arctic

Brent Thomas | | Industry NewsIndustry News
cold weather vehilce
The Army is getting new vehicles for cold weather. Credit: US Marines / Clinton Firstbrook

The U.S. Army has announced a new all-terrain vehicle for its changing needs in the Artic regions. The vehicle is called the Beowulf and is designed to excel in ice, deep snow, rocky terrain, marshes, mud, sand, lakes, and extremely cold conditions.

Versatility is the best word that describes the vehicle. It has two segments that are joined in the middle. This allows it to move easily over uneven terrain but still keep the size of a larger vehicle. The segments can be modified to carry people, gear, cargo, or medical supplies. It rolls on tracks similar to a tank for efficient ice and snow travel.

ice tank
The Beowulf is light enough to be carried by cargo helicopters and compact enough to fit inside a C-17 cargo transport plane. Credit: Bae Systems

Beowulf will be tasked with carrying a combat-loaded infantry squad, performing medical evacuations, serving as a communication and command relay, and carrying cargo. It will be unarmored and unarmed, meaning it is not an attack vehicle. Rather it will transport goods and people where needed through friendly countries or across unfriendly Arctic battlefields.

Why a new cold weather all-terrain vehicle?

The reason for the vehicle is the Army’s desire to be more prepared for war in the extreme cold of northern latitudes. Alaska is the only state in the Arctic, but other NATO countries are in the Arctic. This includes Canada and Norway but could also include Sweden and Finland who are in the process of joining NATO. Finland shares an Arctic border with Russia.

Also, the Arctic is warming faster than other parts of the world, so the terrain is changing. The added versatility is needed for this reason. The Spring and Summer months are becoming more unpredictable with melting ice and mud. Vehicles with wheels just aren’t up for the task. The vehicle will work in both on-road and off-road terrain that would otherwise be impassable to infantry without it.

all terrain
The vehicle is capable of carrying up to 14 people, or a payload of 17,600 pounds, with a speed of over 40 mph. Credit: Bae Systems

In the last year, Beowulf was put through vigorous evaluations and testing in Alaska. It experienced one of the most severe winter storms, with temperatures reaching nearly -50°F. Throughout the testing, the vehicle remained fully mission capable. It performed well in water and land operations, starting and operating in extremely cold weather, navigating terrain with varying levels of technicality, and most importantly, being assessed by the soldiers who will be operating it.

British contractor, BAE Systems, is the builder, and the contract is to provide 163 vehicles by 2029. The total cost is $278 million. Check out the Beowulf in action below.

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2 thoughts on “U.S. Army Announces New Cold Weather All-Terrain Vehicle for Arctic

  1. Great vehicle! And I just can’t wait for them to commercialize it. It’ll get you up to the slopes during those big dumps that shut the roads down. I-70 to Vail in a blizzard? No prob. Rt 88 to Kirkwood through an avvie? Trivial. Little Cottonwood Canyon? Piece of cake.

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