Canadian convoy in Afghanistan
We’ve known the broad outlines of the Canadian $5 billion (Cdn) tactical wheeled vehicle reset and refit program for some time now, but some parts of the program are coming a bit more into focus now that we know who all of the pre-qualified bidders are. More on that here.
Although Canada’s Department of National Defense won’t confirm or deny it, there has been word that the Tactical Armored Patrol Vehicle (TAPV) buy—pegged as the replacement for the MRAP RG-31 and the Coyote personnel carrier—will balloon from 500 vehicles to 750 at some point soon. An award for the TAPV is due this fall, with prequalified bidders including Nexter; BAE Systems; Textron; Force Protection; and Oshkosh, which is submitting a variant of its MATV.
Likewise, media reports have put the CCV budget at about $2.2 billion, with rumblings that $250 million has been moved out of that account and into the TAPV program. One former Canadian Forces officer recently told me that the proposed TAPV buy, even if it stays at 500, is “a respectable number, which implies that they’re going to be using it for a lot of things. When you consider how small our Army is, 500 of anything is really quite an impressive number.”
When it comes to the CCV competition—the vehicle is the only one that is not replacing any current vehicle in the fleet—the DND says it is intended to “bridge the gap between light armored vehicles (5-20 metric tons) and heavy armored vehicles (more than 45 metric tons), coming in between 25 and 45 metric tons.” Companies approved by the DND are: Artec GmbH; BAE Systems Hägglunds AB; General Dynamics Land Systems – Canada; Nexter Systems; and Rheinmetall Landsysteme GmbH.
Given the global budget woes to which Canada is hardly immune, the retired Canadian officer I spoke with says that in the end when it comes to the CCV, “it’s possible the project may not see the light of day” depending on what happens in the upcoming Canadian elections on May 2, and the post-Afghanistan military budget crunches that will hit Canada as hard as anyone else.