The Canadian Army is planning to upgrade or replace its fleets of combat vehicles as part of its defence modernisation programme.

Lieutenant-general Andrew Leslie announced a $5.2bn vehicle upgrade and acquisition projects. The weapons system will be upgraded with additional armour capabilities.

The vehicle mobility systems such as the power train, suspension, running gear and brakes will be replaced to improve survivability of the vehicles.

As part of the programme, the light armoured vehicle (LAV) III upgrade project will upgrade 550 vehicles. The army will also acquire 108 close combat vehicles (CCV) with an option for up to 30 more to fill the long-standing gap between the LAV III and the Leopard 2.

The Canadian army will also acquire 500 tactical armoured patrol vehicles (TAPV) to replace the Coyote and the RG-31 and upgrade 200 recce vehicles to have a crew of four with either a one-man turret or a remote weapons station (RWS).

another 300 infantry vehicles will serve for command and control, fitted with a RWS. They will serve as armoured personnel carriers with a crew of three and the ability to carry four additional soldiers.

As part of the Force Mobility Enhancement Project, the army will buy 13 armoured engineer vehicles (AEV) and two armoured recovery vehicles (ARV). These replacements for the Badger will be built on the Leopard 2 chassis.

The operational capability for the AEVs and ARVs is scheduled for 2011. The upgraded LAV IIIs and the CCVs will be ready for use by the troops by 2012 and the TAPVs are scheduled to be listed in 2013.