General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada (GDLS-C) has been awarded a contract to supply an enhanced surveillance suite for the Canadian Army’s upgraded light-armoured vehicle III (LAV III) fleet.

Under the C$287m ($254m) contract, the company will supply and install the surveillance suite on 66 LAV 6.0 vehicles, improving the safety of soldiers and their ability to detect and engage threats from much greater distances than ever before.

The system will be equipped with a 10m retractable mast and operator control station, as well as a surveillance suite, which includes radar, thermal / day and image intensification sights, laser range finder and a GPS mounted on a stabilised platform.

The enhancements are expected to enable superior detection ranges, on-the-move operation, integrated silent-watch power management and the transmission of images through the communications system.

Canadian Defence Minister Rob Nicholson said: "Our government understands the importance of providing our men and women in uniform with the tools they need to excel at their jobs while on training, exercise or operations.

"These upgraded armoured vehicles will enable our Canadian Armed Forces to work seamlessly with other Canadian and allied surveillance systems."

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Canadian Industry Minister James Moore said: "Through support of the light-armoured vehicle reconnaissance and surveillance project, our government will continue to deliver the right equipment to the Canadian Armed Forces, while helping to create jobs and economic growth within Canada."

"These upgraded armoured vehicles will enable our Canadian Armed Forces to work seamlessly with other Canadian and allied surveillance systems."

The contract is expected to sustain 60 full-time positions at GD, primarily at their London, UK, facility, while generating or maintaining a significant number of additional jobs among the company’s sub-contractors.

In addition, 100% of the value will be re-invested in direct and indirect industrial regional benefits.

Deliveries of surveillance suite-equipped LAV 6.0 vehicles are scheduled to begin in December 2016.

In October 2011, GDLS-C received a C$1.06bn ($1.05bn) contract for the modernisation of 550 Canadian LAV III vehicles, with an option for an additional 80.

Nearly 651 LAV IIIs are believed to be currently operational with the Canadian Army and are conducting missions in Afghanistan and other areas of operation, as primary mechanised infantry vehicles.

Image: A light-armoured vehicle of the Canadian Army. Photo: courtesy of Helene Samson.

Defence Technology