LAV III vehicle

General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada (GDLS-C) has awarded a subcontract to Thales Canada to supply uncooled optronics technology for the national army’s light-armoured vehicle III (LAV III) upgrade programme.

Under the $12.4m contract, GDLS-C will deliver infrared camera sensors and display modules for installation on a total of 409 upgraded LAV III combat vehicles.

Thales Canada defence and security vice president and managing director Mark Halinaty said integration of the company’s optronics technology would boost the LAV III fleet’s survivability, operational capability and long-term performance.

"This technology is a perfect example of domestic innovation and investment in Canada’s high-value defence sector," Halinaty added.

The thermal imaging and vision enhancement solutions are designed to enhance the vehicle crew’s operational capabilities at night or in adverse weather and also in obscured battlefield conditions.

Operational with the Canadian Army since the middle of 1990’s, the equipment has also been ordered by NATO and allied forces.

"This technology is a perfect example of domestic innovation and investment in Canada’s high-value defence sector."

Thales has already supplied more than 1,100 units of driver and crew vision enhancement equipment for army vehicles as part of contracts received in 2007 and 2010 respectively.

The latest award forms part of the original C$1.06bn ($1.05bn) contract secured by GDLS-C for modernisation of a total of 550 LAV III vehicles in October 2011, with an option for additional 80 vehicles.

A C$133.5m ($133.25m) contract modification was also received by the company for additional 66 LAV IIIs upgrade in November 2012.

The LAV III modernisation project delivered the first vehicle to army last month and aims to enhance the fleet’s service life to 2035 through survivability, mobility and efficiency upgrades.

A total of 651 LAV III vehicles are currently operational with the Canadian Army and are conducting missions in Afghanistan and other areas of operation as primary mechanised infantry vehicles.

Image: A Canadian Army’s light-armoured vehicle III. Photo: courtesy of Helene Samson.

Defence Technology