July 20 (UPI) -- Textron Systems and General Dynamics Land Systems each will design a prototype model of a light armored carrier ordered by the U.S. Marine Corps, the branch announced.
The two defense contractors will have 22 months to build competing versions of the Advanced Reconnaissance Vehicle, the Corps said in a Friday press release.
The Marines are looking for 500 of the ARV vehicles to replace its current light armor fleet of 600 LAV-25s.
The LAV-25 is noted for its instability as it is involved in more accidents than any other type of Marine vehicle, according to the Government Accountability Office.
The cost of the five-year program is estimated to be between $1.8 and $6.8 billion, Defense News reported.
"The system has to possess the size, weight and power to accommodate those systems and still stay within their vehicle cone index or their ground pressure," David Phillips, Textron's senior vice president of land systems, told USNI.
"They want these systems to be under 18-and-a-half tons, and again, they want to fit four on a Ship-to-Shore Connector. The vehicle not only has to have outstanding land mobility, it has to swim in the ocean; it has to depart from connectors, and it has to transition through the surf zone."
The vehicle will be outfitted with the most advanced reconnaissance equipment available, with prototypes expected for delivery in the first quarter of 2023.
At that time, the Marines will evaluate each contractors' vehicle for a six-month period to determine battlefield viability.
BAE Systems also vied for the contract. Instead, BAE will look into developing an amphibious vehicle for the land and water force.