Canadian defence minister Harjit Sajjan announced a CAD404 million (USD309 million) investment to upgrade the chassis of an additional 141 light armoured vehicles (LAVs) on 10 February 2017. The upgrade will increase the LAVs' mobility, protection, and information management systems.
General Dynamics Land Systems Canada (GDLS-C) finished upgrading 409 LAV IIIs in December 2016 as part of a CAD1 billion LAV III upgrade (LAVUP) project, which began in 2011. These remaining 141 LAVs, designated as LAV Operation Requirement Integration Task vehicles, were originally planned to only receive upgrades to their turrets, but will now receive the same chassis modernisation as the other upgraded vehicles. The upgrades will be performed by GDLS-C in London, Ontario.
The upgraded LAVs are expected to be delivered by 2019 and have an expected lifespan that will last until 2035, bringing the total number of upgraded LAVs in the Canadian Army to 550 of its current fleet of 651. This contract amendment brings the total cost of the LAV III upgrade programme to approximately CAD1.5 billion.
The LAV III is an 8x8 wheeled infantry fighting vehicle that has several variants. In its infantry section carrier role, it is fitted with a 350-hp Caterpillar 3126 engine, a 25 mm Bushmaster M242 chain gun, and is protected to Standardization Agreement (STANAG) level 3, with upgrade kits available to improve survivability against improvised explosive devices and mines. After being upgraded, the LAV III fleet will have a 450-hp Caterpillar C-9, STANAG level 4 protection, a double-V hull, and improved fire control, thermal sights, and data displays. The upgraded LAV III is designated as LAV 6.0 or LAV UP by GDLS-C.
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