General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada (GDLS-C) has been awarded a contract modification for upgrade of the Canadian Army's 66 additional LAV III combat vehicles.
The latest C$133.5m ($133.25m) contract modifies the previous C$1.06bn ($1.05bn) award secured by GDLS-C for modernisation of a total of 550 LAV III vehicles in October 2011.
Under the new contract, GDLS-C will upgrade the additional 66 vehicles by improving their survivability, mobility and firepower, with an aim to eventually extend the fleet's service life to 2035.
General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada vice president Danny Deep said that the upgraded vehicles would provide the Canadian Army with one of the most advanced and modern vehicles of its type in the world.
"It will provide much-needed job stability throughout Canada's high-value defence sector," Deep said.
Survivability improvements will include integration of double-V-hull technology and add-on armour protection, as well as energy-attenuating seats to help boost the vehicle's crew protection against mine blasts, improvised explosive device (IED) attacks and other threats.
A powerful engine, robust driveline and suspension and a height management system (HMS) will be incorporated as part of mobility system upgrades to optimise the vehicle's automotive performance, handling characteristics and payload capacity.
In addition, the company will enhance the 25mm turret's crew ergonomics and its capabilities by integrating larger hatches, and advanced technologies, including improved fire control, thermal, day and low-light sights and data displays.
Upgrade work under the contract is scheduled to be carried out at the company's facilities in London, Ontario, and Edmonton, Alberta, as well as at its Canada-wide supplier base; it is expected to be complete in 2017.
The LAV III is a derivative of the MOWAG Piranha IIIH 8x8 vehicle, and 651 are currently operational with the Canadian Army as its primary mechanised infantry vehicle.
Image: An LAV III vehicle of the Canadian Army during Operation Lotus in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu in Quebec, Canada. Photo: courtesy of Helene Samson.