Ottawa: The Canadian government said Wednesday it was committing some five billion dollars (4.3 billion US) to modernize its fleet of armored vehicles and other combat carriers, many of which are used in Afghanistan.
Ottawa anticipates investing four billion Canadian dollars (3.44 billion US dollars) in procuring between 650 and 800 new vehicles as part of its next generation land combat fleet, Defense Minister Peter MacKay announced.
That fleet is to include new lines of Close Combat Vehicles, Tactical Armored Patrol Vehicles and Force Mobility Enhancement Vehicles, he said.
It also expects to inject about one billion Canadian dollars (86 million US dollars) to reinforce the armor and improve mobility of its 630 light-armored vehicles (LAVs), used primarily in Afghanistan, and extend the vehicle line’s lifespan up to the year 2035, according to the defense ministry.
“The recent experiences of the Canadian forces and other nations in Afghanistan and other operational theaters continue to demonstrate the ongoing requirement for a highly protected, yet highly mobile Light-Armored Vehicle,” the ministry said in a statement.
“The use of mines, improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and anti-armor weapons has become more prevalent, posing a greater risk to personnel.”
The contracts are to go into effect in 2011, with Canada’s military taking delivery of the vehicles beginning in 2012 and ending by 2015.