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Harper Government Invests in the Canadian Forces and Jobs (Edmonton, Alberta)

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Edmonton-based company will upgrade Canadian Forces’ fleet of Light Armoured Vehicles

Edmonton, Alberta, October 21, 2011 — The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women, today announced that the Government of Canada has awarded a contract to General Dynamics Land Systems – Canada (GDLS – C) for the implementation phase of the Light Armoured Vehicle (LAV) III Upgrade Project.

“This announcement is good news for our Canadian Forces, for Canadian workers, and for the Canadian economy,” said Minister Ambrose. “This contract helps to sustain over 110 jobs right here in Edmonton. In turn, this work will help to protect our women and men in uniform in land combat vehicles.”

“This is a definite boost to Edmontonians by providing good jobs and security for our families and helping to build a prosperous future for our community,” said Brent Rathgeber, Member of Parliament for Edmonton—St. Albert.

Canada’s LAV III vehicles have served the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan and other areas of operation. They are state-of-the-art combat vehicles used to transport infantry on the battlefield while providing defensive protection and firepower.

“This Government continues to follow through on its commitment to provide our men and women in uniform with the tools they need to do the jobs asked of them,” said the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence. “Whether it be a new fleet of federal ships, a new family of combat vehicles or new planes to defend Canadian skies, this government is providing the Canadian Forces with the foundation to build a first-class, modern military that is ready to take on the challenges of the 21st Century.”

The LAV III Upgrade Project Implementation Phase contract is necessary to improve the protection of these vehicles against mines and improvised explosive devices, improve their mobility, improve the safety of Canadian Forces members travelling on board the LAV III, and incorporate ergonomic and information management improvements. The contract, valued at $1.064 billion, will upgrade 550 LAV IIIs, extending their lifespan to 2035.

The Industrial and Regional Benefits (IRB) Policy will apply to this contract. The IRB Policy ensures that economic benefits flow to Canadaas a result of defence procurements, which means that General Dynamics Land Systems – Canada will be required to re-invest into Canada 100 per cent of the contract value, further expanding the economic benefits from this procurement in regions across the country. This contract is part of over 60 major procurements subject to the IRB Policy, which represents over $20 billion in IRB commitments from major defence contractors.

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Backgrounder

Light Armoured Vehicle III Upgrade Project

Canada’s Light Armoured Vehicle (LAV) III–which has served the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan and other areas of operation—is a state-of-the-art combat vehicle used to transport infantry on the battlefield while providing defensive protection and firepower.

The recent experiences of the Canadian Forces and other nations in Afghanistan and other areas of operation continue to demonstrate the ongoing requirement for a highly protected, yet highly mobile, Light Armoured Vehicle.

The LAV III Upgrade Project is one of four Family of Land Combat Vehicles projects announced in July 2009, and it both capitalizes on existing and evolving technology and improves the protection, mobility and effectiveness of the LAV III fleet. These projects aim to provide the Canadian Forces with the next generation of land combat vehicles.

The upgrade project modernizes a portion of the existing LAV III fleet to ensure that it remains a highly protected and operationally mobile combat vehicle and the backbone of domestic and expeditionary task forces.

This project extends the lifespan of the LAV III to 2035.

In July 2010, General Dynamics Land Systems – Canada (GDLS – C), the original equipment manufacturer, was awarded a contract to determine the scope of the work required to upgrade the vehicle.

GDLS – C built model Risk Reduction Units, which are LAV IIIs fitted with the various planned upgrades. The Risk Reduction Units were delivered in the fall of 2010. General Dynamics Land Systems – Canada then conducted rigorous testing and validated the performance of the selected upgrade packages.

The LAV III Upgrade Project is now entering the implementation stage, involving the production of the upgraded vehicles. The following upgrades will be performed on the LAV III:

  • upgrade of mobility systems such as the power train, suspension, running gear and brakes;
  • upgrade of the weapon system;
  • installation of additional armour, strengthening its protection against increased threats; and
  • improved crew ergonomics.

This work is necessary to improve the protection of this vehicle against mines and improvised explosive devices; improve its mobility; improve the safety of Canadian Forces members travelling on board the LAV III; and incorporate ergonomic and information management improvements.

The LAV III Upgrade Project upgrades 550 vehicles, with an option for an additional 80.

General Dynamics Land Systems – Canada has facilities in both Edmonton and London. This contract will sustain high-value, high-tech jobs.  This work will help to maintain employment for 2,400 GDLS – C personnel in London and Edmonton, as well as for the employees of the company’s supplier base of 400 Canadian companies.

The Industrial and Regional Benefits (IRB) Policy will apply to this contract. The IRB Policy ensures that economic benefits flow to Canada as a result of defence procurements, which means that General Dynamics Land Systems – Canada will be required to re-invest into Canada 100 per cent of the contract value, further expanding the economic benefits from this procurement in regions across the country. This contract is part of over 60 major procurements subject to the IRB Policy, which represents over $20 billion in IRB commitments from major defence contractors.

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