Textron Marine & Land Systems (TM&LS) has delivered four pre-production tactical armoured patrol vehicles (TAPV) for a series of testing and training programmes in Canada and the US.
The first pre-production vehicle (PPV) was shipped to the US Army's Aberdeen test centre in Maryland, for a five-month qualification testing process, whereas Rheinmetall Canada received the second PPV for training activities in early and mid July 2013.
Training activities included land communication information system training by Rheinmetall, followed by electro-optical technical training and vehicle technician training by Kongsberg Protech Systems Canada and TM&LS respectively.
In addition, Rheinmetall Canada is currently performing vehicle integration activities on the third and fourth TAPV PPVs.
Meanwhile, TM&LS is set to complete the production of two additional PPVs in the next several weeks sending five vehicles to Canadian Forces Base Valcartier in Quebec, for two weeks of operator and gunner operator training which will start later this month.
Textron Systems Canada general manager Neil Rutter said the pre-production vehicle assembly, testing and training is going according to schedule and the start of full-rate production is planned for January 2014.
"We remain committed to working with our Department of National Defense customers and our partners here in Canada to build and support a fleet of TAPVs that provide Canadian soldiers with an unmatched performance and protection for decades," Rutter said.
The vehicles are then scheduled to undergo reliability, availability, maintainability and durability (RAMD) testing over the next months at Valcartier, Canada.
Textron Systems Canada was selected as prime contractor of the C$603.4m ($603.81m) TAPV programme for delivery of around 500 vehicles to the Canadian Army in June 2012.
The contract also includes an option for the supply of an additional 100 TAPVs, while in-service support (ISS) will be delivered under a separate five-year C$105.4m ($105.47m) contract.
Designed to replace Canada's existing fleet of armoured patrol vehicles (APV) and Coyote reconnaissance vehicles, TAPV will ensure that the army remains capable of effective training, supporting domestic operations and sustaining deployed forces as part of Canada's first defence strategy.
Image: Textron Systems Canada's proposed tactical armoured patrol vehicle for the Canadian Army. Photo: copyright of Rheinmetall Canada.