Just before Canada Day 2006, Canada’s minority Conservative Party government outlined a C$ 1.2 billion (USD $1 billion) RFP for new medium-sized logistics trucks and associated equipment. These Medium Support Vehicle System (MSVS) trucks will become the new backbone of the Canadian Forces’ land transport capabilities, replacing the MLVW (really, US M-35/M-36 designs with some modifications) 1950s designs, built by Bombardier in the 1980s.
The MLVWs are reaching the end of their service lives, and can’t carry all of the extra armor required for survival in places like Afghanistan. This may explain why the Canadian forces in Afghanistan are relying on their HLVW heavy trucks instead, a set of 10-ton capacity Steyr vehicles related to the smaller US FMTV medium truck family.
Under the new plan, the Canadian Forces will purchase up to 2,300 new medium trucks. What are the requirements? The configurations and numbers? Is this a welcome arrival that fills a critical gap? A mistake that will leave Canada out of step with shifting trends? Or a politically-driven move that falls into the “something, and hence better than nothing” category? Or all 3? As of 2012, MSVS has made 1 truck purchase, bought containerized modules, and is still waiting on the contract for front-line military trucks.