Canada Contracts for LAV Support
Canada’s wheeled LAV armored personnel carriers have faced mixed reviews in Afghanistan. On the one hand, they’ve provided survivable firepower and mobility that has been very effective when the terrain allows, and Canada’s unique Coyote surveillance and targeting variant has been an important contributor in all environments. On the other hand, the vehicles have displayed important limitations on their movement in Afghanistan’s harsh terrain, chewing through spare parts while remaining unable to support some operations effectively. As a result, some planned LAV variants were canceled, and Canada chose to deploy tracked Leopard/Leopard 2 tanks and M113 tracked APCs in theater.
Canada’s LAVs also remain in theater, however, and must be supported. To that end, the Government of Canada recently awarded General Dynamics Land Systems Canada (GDLS-C) a sole-source, C$ 374 million (current value $372.8 million) Phase 2 contract that will last from June 1/08 – March 31/13, ad may be extended at the government’s option.
This is the second phase of a lifecycle support contract originally awarded in April 2004 and successfully completed in May 2008. Services will include fleet management, publication and technical data management, program management, spare parts, repair and overhaul services, training support, technical services, and field service representatives on the front lines.
GDLS-C was awarded this contract as a sole-source buy on the grounds that “GDLS-C is the designer… and, together with its prime suppliers, owns most of the intellectual property rights or has exclusive access to all of the proprietary technical data related to this equipment.” As is customary for Canadian defense buys, GDLS-C has agreed to provide direct and indirect industrial and regional benefits equivalent to 100% of the value of the contract. In this case, that will be easy. The LAVs driven by the US Marines, and the US Army’s Stryker variant, are also assembled in London, Ontario by General Dynamics Canada. Government of Canada | General Dynamics.
UPDATE: On March 9/09 the head of Canada’s land forces Lt.-Gen. Andrew Leslie testified to Canada’s Senate defence committee:
“Citing figures from last month, Leslie said 33 per cent of the army’s light-armoured vehicles (LAVs) are out of service, along with 76 per cent of its Coyotes, 100 per cent of its tracked light-armoured vehicles (TLAVs) [DID: an M113 variant], 73 per cent of its Bisons and 71 per cent of its Leopard tanks.”
LAVs are LAV-IIIs. Coyotes and Bisons are variants of the LAV-II.