Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

June 01, 2006 16:36 ET

Department of National Defence: 25 New Armoured Patrol Vehicles Heading to Kandahar

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - June 1, 2006) - The Department of National Defence is purchasing an additional 25 new armoured patrol vehicles for Operation ARCHER, the Canadian Forces mission in Afghanistan.

These new vehicles, a version of the RG-31 Nyala manufactured by BAE Land Systems OMC in the Republic of South Africa, are providing excellent protection for our troops while they conduct patrols, command and liaison, and reconnaissance tasks in mountainous terrain and complex urban centers of Afghanistan. This $31 million option to buy is in addition to an existing contract valued at $64 million, originally awarded to General Dynamics Land Systems - Canada in October for the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan.

"Canada's commitment to bringing stability to Afghanistan is helping the country become a stable and self-sufficient state so that it will never again serve as a terrorist haven, and threaten global and Canadian security," said Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor. "These additional vehicles will help ensure the brave men and women defending our sovereignty abroad are well equipped to deal with the associated risks in the fight against terrorism."

"The armoured patrol vehicles are proving their worth, and play an important role in a very challenging environment," said General Rick Hillier, Chief of the Defence Staff. "These vehicles complement existing patrol fleets, and are providing commanders with the options and flexibility that they need to conduct diverse operations."

The armoured patrol vehicle or APV incorporates enhanced mine blast resistance as well as protection against both improvised explosive devices and ballistic threats. The APV has a remote weapon station equipped with a day and night sighting system, allowing the operator to fire the weapon from within the vehicle while remaining protected.

The procurement of the APV was the result of an urgent operational requirement identified for Operation ARCHER. The Canadian Forces completed delivery of the first 50 vehicles in May 2006. Delivery of the additional 25 APVs is expected to begin in September. The original contract for 50 vehicles included an option for the contractor to perform 'in-theatre' operator and maintainer training, with the follow-on training to be carried out by military instructors.

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