Capable combat support [CANSEC17D2]

01 June 2017

General Dynamics Land Systems - Canada (GDLS-Canada, Booth 1301) is showcasing two new wheeled combat platform developments: the LAV 6.0 Combat Support Vehicle – Ambulance (CSV-A) and the LAV 6.0 Combat Support Vehicle – Maintenance and Recovery (CSV-MR), both of which are evolved from its baseline 8x8 LAV 6.0 light armoured vehicle platform, the centrepiece of the Canadian Army’s modernised combat vehicle fleet.

The LAV 6.0 solution is the outcome of the C$1.064 billion Implementation Phase of the LAV III Upgrade Project (LAV-UP) awarded to GDLS-Canada in October 2011. LAV-UP provides for the comprehensive upgrade of 550 Canadian Army LAV IIIs in four configurations: Infantry Section Carrier, Command Post, Observation Post Vehicle and Engineer Vehicle, and is intended to extend the vehicle’s life to 2035.

In February this year, the company was awarded a C$404 million contract amendment to upgrade an additional 141 LAV IIIs to LAV 6.0 standard.

LAV-UP delivers significant improvements in survivability, mobility and lethality. Survivability enhancements include switching to a double-V hull offering inherent and weight-effcient protection from mine and improvised explosive device (IED) threats, as well as energy-attenuating seats at all crew locations. A more powerful 450hp engine is included, as well as upgrades to the drivetrain and suspension. Turret sights are upgraded to extend their range and gun control electronics are being improved to reduce crew workload. e fully upgraded vehicle weighs 63,000lb (28,576kg), but testing has demonstrated that its mobility is comparable with or better than the original high-mobility 38,000lb APC vehicle that the upgrade is based on.

GDLS-Canada is now proposing the new LAV 6.0 CSV-A and CSV-MR variants – both of which have been developed with GDLSCanada internal R&D funding – to meet a prospective capability requirement for ambulances, and maintenance and recovery vehicles capable of keeping up with the LAV 6.0 fleet, with the advantages of mobility, protection and payload, all on a common chassis for ease of training and low support costs.

“General Dynamics Land Systems - Canada is proud of the vehicles we are showcasing at CANSEC because they o er the Canadian Army highly capable and protected combat support vehicles that are common to the LAV 6.0 platform, and they are the result of world-class Canadian innovation,” said Doug Wilson- Hodge, GDLS-Canada’s manager of corporate a airs.

The LAV 6.0 CSV-MR is equipped with an earth-moving blade for obstacle clearance and construction, with a hydraulic hose reel enabling hydraulic tool operation off the vehicle. The vehicle can be optionally equipped with a supplementary 7.62mm protected remote weapon station and 76mm smoke grenade chargers, communications and land navigation packages, and situational awareness and vehicle survivability upgrades, including an automatic laser warning system.

GDLS-Canada has evolved the LAV 6.0 CSV-A from a configuration unveiled in 2016 to anticipate future Canadian ambulance requirements. Among the CSV-A’s many new features is capability for a crew of four, adequate stowage for medical and personal equipment, and configuration options for two or four stretchers.

Additionally, the platform can be optionally equipped with a communication and land navigation package, a HALON-free automatic and manually activated internal fire suppression system, and a suite of vehicle survivability solutions.

GDLS-Canada says the LAV 6.0 variants put the protection of soldiers first and would give the Canadian Army more capability and flexibility in its missions.

This is demonstrated by the fact that the LAV 6.0 CSV-A provides medical personnel capability to enable highly mobile and protected casualty treatment and evacuation, and the CSV-MR can recover a deeply mired vehicle, and perform emergency maintenance in situ under combat conditions.

“The LAV 6.0 Ambulance is capable of providing the Canadian Army’s combat support elements the same protection and mobility as the combat fleet,” said Wilson- Hodge. “Additionally, it gives medical personnel increased space and protection to perform life-saving procedures on casualties being evacuated. It has approximately 40 per cent more internal volume than the Bison Ambulance.”

Wilson-Hodge said field trials of both all-up platforms have not yet been conducted, but both are common to the baseline LAV 6.0 chassis, which is already fielded and deployed.

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