Military to get $5B for armoured vehicles
The federal government will announce roughly $5 billion in new funding for light armoured vehicles for the military, including repairs to the LAV III fleet, CBC News has learned.
Defence Minister Peter MacKay will make the announcement Wednesday during a stop at CFB Gagetown in New Brunswick.
Roughly $1 billion will be used to upgrade LAV III models.
The remaining $4 billion is to be spent on a "new family of land combat vehicles" that would include:
- A close-combat vehicle that would work with the army's Leopard tanks.
- A new armoured reconnaissance vehicle.
- A new armoured engineering vehicle to carry equipment such as plows and building materials.
The Conservative party's 2008 election platform pledged to invest $45 billion to $50 billion over the next 20 years to buy equipment for the Canadian Forces, including "land vehicle fleets."
Earlier this year, Lt.-Gen. Andrew Leslie, the chief of the land staff, warned many of the LAV IIIs were worn out or damaged by Canada's participation in the Afghan mission, which started in 2002.
Leslie said repairing the army's fleet of LAV IIIs at plants in London, Ont., and Edmonton could boost the country's sagging manufacturing sector, hit hard by the global recession.
While the LAV III is well liked by soldiers for its ease of handling, it has been criticized for tipping easily. A 2004 briefing note to the army warned the LAV III was especially prone to tipping on ground with an angle of 30 degrees or greater, and should be driven in the centre of roads in countries with poor highway systems, where edges of roads are prone to break away under heavy weight.