General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada today held a virtual ceremony that celebrated the «roll-out» of the Armoured Combat Support Vehicle (ACSV) program’s first vehicle variant – a Troop Cargo Vehicle (TCV) manufactured for the Canadian Army.
«We are honoured to have Defence Minister Sajjan with us today, virtually, as we showcase the first of eight ACSV variants, the Troop Cargo Vehicle», said Jason Monahan, Vice President and General Manager of General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada. «Light Armoured Vehicles have protected Canada’s soldiers on missions abroad for over 40 years, and it is a privilege to continue this tradition with the roll-out of this first ACSV variant».
In August 2019, the Government of Canada awarded General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada a contract to design and produce 360 Armoured Combat Support Vehicles for the Canadian Army. Since then, General Dynamics’ ACSV team has been working to meet tight design and production deadlines, against a backdrop of challenges that comes with manufacturing safely in a global pandemic.
Armoured Combat Support Vehicles are an extension of the existing Light Armoured Vehicle (LAV) 6.0 family of vehicles in service with the Canadian Army. The Canadian-designed and Canadian-manufactured LAV 6.0 ACSV variants have a common baseline chassis with the Canadian Army’s in-service LAV 6.0 fleet and reflect the protection and mobility needed to successfully conduct operations in a high-threat environment. The ACSV contract provides for eight additional variants of the LAV 6.0 family of vehicles, including ambulances, command posts, maintenance and recovery vehicles, fitters and troop-carrying vehicles. Having a fleet of LAVs of a common baseline configuration reduces training and long-term maintenance costs.
Production on the first Armoured Combat Support Vehicle (ACSV) has begun in London, Ontario at the General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada manufacturing facilities. These new vehicles will fulfill a variety of combat support roles such as that of Troop/Cargo Vehicle (TCV), ambulance, command post, and mobile repair and recovery.
The contract for this project was awarded last September, and since then, a number of subcontracts have been awarded by General Dynamics to allow work to start. These subcontracts represent over $137 million in investments to more than 30 Canadian businesses from coast to coast to coast, creating and sustaining over 400 jobs across the country.
This is a big step forward as the government continues to deliver on Strong, Secure, Engaged, Canada’s first fully costed and funded defence policy. As per the Industrial and Technological Benefits Policy, General Dynamics will re-invest an amount equal to the value of the contract to create and sustain well-paying jobs across the country.
These vehicles will replace the current fleets of M113 Tracked Light Armoured Vehicle (TLAV) and the LAV II Bison. The first vehicle is expected roll off the production line this December, with deliveries occurring through February 2025. Testing, training, and procurement of spare parts will be required before the initial vehicles are distributed to Canadian Armed Forces bases in 2022.
The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence: «These vehicles will form the backbone of the Army’s combat support fleet, and be used on a wide range of operations including domestic disaster relief and international peace support missions. Thanks to the flexibility found in our defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, work on the vehicles has started years earlier than expected and ensures that we continue to support well-paying Canadian jobs and critical innovation in communities across the country».
The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry: «Our government has ensured that this contract supports Canadian jobs and provides benefits to Canadian industry, including small and medium-sized businesses. Through the Industrial and Technological Benefits Policy, this project will continue to strengthen key industrial capabilities that support the Canadian Armed Forces and help to keep Canada’s economy strong».
The current fleet of armoured support vehicles is comprised of the LAV II Bison and the M113 Tracked LAV, which have already been reconfigured and life-extended.
A contract was awarded to General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada on September 5, 2019. This contract has a value of approximately $2 billion (taxes included) for 360 ACSV, initial spare parts, technical manuals, and training.
Subcontracts have been awarded to companies in seven provinces, and vary in value from $38,800 to $24,000,000. Key investments include:
$335,000 in Atlantic Canada to companies like L & A Metalworks Inc. and IMP Group Limited;
$26,000,000 in Quebec to companies like Terminal & Cable TC Inc. and Thales Canada Inc. Optronics BU;
$89,000,000 in Ontario to companies like Abuma Manufacturing Limited, Cornell Welding & Fabricating Ltd., and J/E Bearing & Machine Ltd.;
$20,000,000 in Western Canada to companies like Analytic Systems Inc. and JNE Welding.
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.
This fleet can be used in a wide variety of roles, such as part of Canada’s contribution to NATO’s assurance and deterrence measures in Central and Eastern Europe, or in the Canadian Armed Forces’ response to natural disasters in Canada.
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+, and was done for this procurement.
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. In addition, Canada required General Dynamics to provide a gender and diversity plan outlining the company’s efforts to promote workforce diversity and gender equality within its corporate and supply chain operations.
The Industrial and Technological Benefits Policy applies to this contract, ensuring that General Dynamics will invest 100 percent of the value of the contract back into the Canadian economy, providing opportunities for Canadian small and medium businesses, and supporting innovation and skills development for Canadian workers.