Report to Congress on Marine Corps’ Advanced Reconnaissance Vehicle Program

May 31, 2022 9:00 AM

The following is the May 27, 2022, Congressional Research Service In Focus report, Marine Corps Advanced Reconnaissance Vehicle (ARV).

From the report

The ARV and the Marine Corps 2030 Force Design Initiative

In March 2020, the Marines undertook a major force design initiative planned to occur over the next 10 years. The Marine Corps intends to redesign the force for naval expeditionary warfare and to better align itself with the National Defense Strategy. In February 2021, the Marines updated the Secretary of Defense on the progress on force design initiatives. The March 2020 force design initiative plan raises questions that some have about the role or even the desirability of the ARV in future force design. According to the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General David Berger:

“While I have repeatedly stated that all-domain reconnaissance and counter-reconnaissance will be a critical element of any future contingency, I remain unconvinced that additional wheeled, manned armored ground reconnaissance units are the best and only answer – especially in the Indo- Pacific region. We need to see more evidence during Phase III to support this conclusion before engaging in an expansion of our existing capacity, or committing billions of dollars in procurement funds towards the acquisition of an Advanced Reconnaissance Vehicle (ARV).”

In the Marine’s February 2021 force design update to the Secretary of Defense, the Commandant further noted:

“The 12 Light Armored Reconnaissance (LAR) Companies identified in the initial Force Design Report must be re-evaluated in light of the emerging concept of multi-domain mobile reconnaissance. This may affect the overall requirement for armored land mobility in the form of the Advanced Reconnaissance Vehicle (ARV).”

In the Marine’s May 2022 force design update to the Secretary of Defense, the Commandant directed the Marines to

“[r]eview and validate all assumptions regarding programmed or potential future capabilities, such as the Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV)-30 and Advanced Reconnaissance Vehicle (ARV). ”

These three statements arguably raise questions regarding the future of the ARV program, seemingly implying that the ARV might not be the best solution for the Marines’ reconnaissance needs.

Download the document here.

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