Earlier this month the Minister of National Defence Harjit S. Sajjan announced the government would acquire 360 combat support Light Armoured Vehicles (LAV) from General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada (GDLS-C).
“The LAV is the backbone of the Army’s combat fleet, and supports our women and men in uniform on a range of operations from domestic disaster relief such as Operation LENTUS to overseas peace support missions. I am pleased to be moving forward with the strengthening of our fleet of armoured combat support vehicles as committed to in our defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, while at the same time supporting Canadian jobs and innovation through our partnership with GDLS-C,” stated Sajjan in a press release.
The press release noted the estimated cost range for the project is up to $3 billion and the repayable loan will be worth up to $650 million. The cost also includes new infrastructure to house and maintain the vehicles. However, there were no details regarding the loan or the infrastructure.
The CAF’s Armoured Combat Support Vehicles will be available in eight variants, providing services such as: ambulances, vehicle recovery, engineering, mobile repair, electronic warfare, troop-carrying, and command posts.
The press release noted to maximize the economic benefits of this project for Canadians the supplier will reinvest an amount equal to the value of this contract, dollar-for-dollar, back into the Canadian economy to create jobs and opportunities for innovation.
In addition to the almost 1,650 jobs at the General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) plant in London, there are close to 8,500 jobs across Canada that help to supply necessary parts and equipment for the construction of light armoured vehicles.
“Our government continues to create good jobs and economic opportunities for Canadians. Every dollar spent on this project will be reinvested in Canada’s economy, creating opportunities for Canadian suppliers and supporting good, middle-class jobs,” stated Navdeep Bains minister of innovation, science and economic development in the press release.
The press release noted that the LAV is essential to the Army’s combat fleet. Currently, LAVs support CAF personnel in uniform on a range of operations including domestic disaster relief during the widespread flooding experienced in New Brunswick, Quebec, and Ontario and overseas peace support missions.
“We are committed to providing the women and men in uniform with the equipment they need to carry out their important work. As part of Canada’s defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, today’s announcement is yet another step closer to delivering on our plan to provide the Canadian Armed Forces with the modern equipment it needs, within the outlined budget, all while securing good middle-class jobs across the country,” noted Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility Carla Qualtrough in a press the release.
The press release also noted that having similar combat support vehicles in the CAF fleet offers a number of operational advantages, including reduced training and sustainment costs, as well as the availability of standard spare parts to fix vehicles quickly during critical operations.
The current fleet of armoured support vehicles is comprised of the LAV II Bison, and the M113 Tracked LAV.
The Government of Canada is in the final stages of contract negotiations.