TAPV gets suited up [CANSEC18D2]

31 May 2018

The Canadian Army is displaying its Textron Systems Canada 4x4 Tactical Armoured Patrol Vehicle (TAPV) as part of the outdoor static display at CANSEC 2018. The vehicle is equipped with a customised prototype SolarΣShield solar heat load reduction/multispectral signature management skin in Canadian camouflage pattern.

Provided by Rheinmetall Defence, SolarΣShield (pronounced ‘solar sigma shield’) is a patented two-layered fabric system designed for customised installation on any platform or system operating in harsh climatic conditions, from vehicles, weapon systems, tanks, and reservoirs to control centres, shelters, and electronic systems.

An outer layer (Solar Shield) enables the absorption of solar energy for vehicle heat reduction by natural air convection and artificial shadow; an inner layer (Sigma Shield) enables multispectral signature management against thermal, visual, radar and ultraviolet detection. The Army is currently evaluating the system, but has not committed to a procurement.

In the interim, TAPV deliveries continue to the Canadian Army.

Textron Systems Canada was awarded a C$603.4 million contract in June 2012 to manufacture and deliver 500 TAPV platforms, with an unfunded option for an additional 100 vehicles. The company has now delivered 448 TAPVs to the Canadian Army, with delivery of the remaining platforms scheduled for completion later this year. Textron will then transition to commence a five-year performance-based support contract (FY2018-23), with an option for a 20-year follow-on contract package.

Textron is expected to declare an operational capability of the TAPV programme with the delivery of the 500th vehicle this year; however, the Army anticipates declaration of a full TAPV operational capability in mid-2020.

TAPV replaces the RG-31 Nyala multi-purpose, mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicle and the LAV-25 Coyote armoured reconnaissance vehicle, and serves alongside the 4x4 G Wagon – Light Utility Vehicle Wheeled (LUVW) in Canadian Army service. TAPV will eventually be distributed across seven Canadian Army bases, 24 Army units, and a number of primary reserve units.

The TAPV capability is intended to eventually equip three Canadian Army divisions (2, 3 and 4) in the Managed Readiness Cycle, along with a reduced capability for 5 Division in the Canadian Maritimes.

Some 80 TAPV platforms were deployed earlier this month from Canadian Forces Base Wainwright in Alberta in support of Exercise Maple Resolve 2018. The exercise saw the first full deployment of TAPV as the primary mover for Army reconnaissance units; Major Steve Grubb of the Canadian Department of National Defence (DND) said the DND is currently waiting on feedback from Maple Resolve along with a wider deployment of TAPV before a decision is made on the procurement of the additional 100-platform option. The DND can exercise the option within three years of the delivery of the final, 500th vehicle.

The TAPV is also one of a number of platforms being considered for deployment as part of of the Canadian ground component with the UN Mission to Mali. Major Grubb said any decision on the the international deployment of the platform will also be informed by the feedback from Maple Resolve.

In collaboration with the Army, the DND has selected Kongsberg Protech to equip 364 TAPV platforms with its 40mm Protector Dual Remote Weapon Station (DRWS). Major Grubb said one potential option for TAPV ahead of a decision to acquire additional vehicles could potentially be a procurement of an additional 136 DRWS systems to equip the remaining TAPV platforms.

(550 words)