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New Canadian Combat Support LAV Acquisition

Canadian LAV on NATO eFP mission, Estonia, 2019 [© Bob Morrison]
Canada has announced that the government will acquire 360 Combat Support Light Armoured Vehicles (LAV) from General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada.

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MND Press Release, London ON, 16 August 2019: The Government of Canada is taking another step to provide the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) with the modern equipment it needs to operate across the spectrum of operations with better protection against a variety of threats, as outlined in Canada’s defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged.

The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, announced that the government will acquire 360 combat support Light Armoured Vehicles (LAV) from General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada (GDLS-C). Funds for the purchase are in the approved budget for Canada’s defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged. The Government of Canada also intends to provide a repayable loan to GDLS-C.

To maximise 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.

Canadian BISON Recovery Vehicle, Latvia, 2017 [©Bob Morrison]

The LAV is essential to the Army’s combat fleet, and supports our women and men 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. The LAV is a tested and proven platform that meets Canada’s Army needs. Having similar combat support vehicles in the Canadian Armed Forces fleet will offer a number of operational advantages, including reduced training and sustainment costs, as well as the availability of common spare parts to fix vehicles quickly during critical operations.

Armoured combat support vehicles serve key roles such as command posts, ambulances, and mobile repair. This new fleet will offer the protection and mobility that CAF members need to conduct their work in operational environments.

Canadian BISON Ambulance, Latvia, 2017 [©Bob Morrison]

Minister of National Defence, Harjit S. Sajjan: “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.”

Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility, Carla Qualtrough: “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.”

Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Navdeep Bains: “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.”

Quick Facts:

  • 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 with GDLS-C.
  • The estimated cost range for this 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.
  • 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.
  • Procuring the vehicles now will allow the department to save on costs associated with maintaining and life-extending the current fleet.
  • Canada’s defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, included a commitment to integrate Gender-Based Analysis Plus (GBA+), in all defence activities across the Canadian Armed Forces and Department of National Defence. This ensures that every activity is informed by GBA+, including procurement of major new equipment platforms.
  • Operation LENTUS is the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) response to natural disasters in Canada. It follows an established plan of action to support communities in crisis. The operation can include ships, vehicles, aircraft, and a variety of equipment.
  • The Industrial and Technological Benefits Policy is the government’s main tool for ensuring economic benefits from large defence procurements, and it means that the supplier will reinvest an amount equal to the value of this contract – dollar-for-dollar – back into the Canadian economy.
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