LONDON — The wraps came off the all-terrain vehicle BAE Systems intends to offer the British Royal Marines to replace aging machines built by the Swedish company as the DSEI defense show opened in London on Tuesday.
Tore Akser, the BV platform manager at BAE Systems Hagglunds, said the new BvS10 Beowulf combines the best parts of the company's line up of Bv206, Bv206S and BvS10 vehicles in a machine which goes further, faster and at 8 tons has a considerably greater payload than the Bv206s.
The vehicle touted here by BAE is unarmored, but Akser conceded that a certain degree of armored protection would be required to meet the emerging British requirement.
A Beowulf is already being tested and Akser said the vehicle could be production ready within the year.
The machine is primarily aimed at military requirements but could see a big future for the vehicle in civilian roles like disaster relief, fire fighting and rescue operations.
Just in case you are wondering, BAE says the name Beowulf comes from an Old English epic poem celebrating the Scandinavian hero Beowulf who would travel immense distances to prove his worth against mortal enemies.
Much of the technology and systems from the BvS10 Viking found its way into Beowulf.
Photo Credit: Nils Bjuggstam
BAE is one of two likely contenders for what will be a competition worth about £230 million, according to program details released by the British Ministry of Defence recently.
The rival company is ST Kinetics of Singapore.
Like BAE it markets a two cabin tracked all terrain vehicle and like BAE it already has a UK customer for its machine, the Warthog, although in the Singaporean company's case it is the British Army rather than the Commando's.
The Singaporean company beat BAE's Viking, to an urgent operational requirement for the British Army in Afghanistan.
Now ST Kinetics is looking at offering a variant of it's Extremv emergency response vehicle to respond to the Royal Marine requirement when it emerges.
Andrew Chuter is the United Kingdom correspondent for Defense News.