Above: The Australian Bushmaster armor and mine protected vehicle. Photo: Thales
Two companies the Australian subsidiary of Thales and U.S. based Textron Marine & Land Systems have confirmed as qualified for the next stage in the Canadian selection process for future acquisition of about 600 Tactical Armored Patrol Vehicle (TAPV), to replace the current RG-31, LAV-2 (Coyote) and some of the light protected G-Wagon utility vehicles.
Textron plans to offer the ‘Mobile Survivable Vehicle‘ – a special 4×4 wheeled armored vehicle specifically designed to provide survivability, mobility and versatility in full spectrum operations over the toughest of landscapes. A typical configuration was displayed last year at the AUSA annual meeting. The armored hull is shielding troops from roadside bombs and blasts while providing large power reserves for future electronics enhancements with an ergonomically designed interior for optimum comfort and payload.
“Our team has been working diligently to develop and test this modern combat vehicle for the Canadian military to achieve the highest possible level of crew protection while maintaining the mobility and reliability of our combat-proven Armored Security Vehicle,” said Textron Marine & Land Systems General Manager Tom Walmsley. “We are offering the Canadian military the ultimate balance of survivability, mobility and lethality in a modern, ergonomically designed platform. It is a cost effective game-changing solution for Canada’s national security requirements for the next 25 years.”
The combat proven Bushmaster family of protected mobility vehicles includes patrol, command, ambulance, surveillance and target acquisition, direct fire support weapons and mortar vehicle variants and provides solutions for a wide variety of mission roles and applications including logistical support. Bushmasters have been deployed to Afghanistan for the past several years, where they are operated by the Australian and Dutch forces. For the TAPV program Thales intend to offer the base vehicle with various weapon systems, such as a remote weapons station, sighting and vision systems and several C4I options.
Anticipating the significance of local workshare in the program, Thales has entered an exclusive teaming agreement with DEW Engineering and Development ULC, on the assembly of the Bushmaster. In addition, Thales will be looking at further maximizing its Canadian Content Value and will be meeting with potential suppliers across Canada over the next several months. Thales’ first official supplier sourcing session will be during DEFSEC Atlantic 2010, in Halifax, September 9 – 10, 2010.
Other teams that competed for the program included Oshkosh offering the M-ATV, and the French Nexter offered the Aravis. Although the Canadians were explicitly seeking ‘Military off the Shelf’ (MOTS) vehicles, two companies preferred to submit new vehicles – BAE Systems offered the South African designed RG-35 and L-3, teamed with Israel’s Hatehof and Elbit Systems offered the new Xtrem.