The Canadian automotive manufacturer Roshel has reportedly supplied over a hundred units of Senator armoured personnel carriers to Ukrainian Armed Forces and Chernihiv border guards. Ukrainian media outlet Suspilne News reported that the delivery was part of Ottawa’s military aid to Ukraine; with the support of patrons from Eastern Europe. Roshel is one of the largest manufacturers of smart armored vehicles for commercial and government organizations in North America. CEO Roman Shimonov started Roshel in 2016. When war broke out, Shimonov, whose wife is from Ukraine, quickly realized there was an opportunity to grow his business, and help Ukrainians. And hiring newcomers from that country was his secret weapon. At least 30 Ukrainian newcomers to Canada helping a little-known local manufacturer make Senator APC armoured personnel carriers for the war effort in their homeland.
Shimonov supercharged Roshel’s production line, increasing its output tenfold since last year. Roshel can complete production of two Senator armored vehicles per day. And it’s possible to get them delivered on the ground in Ukraine in a month — speed that is critical to the forces defending against the invaders. The Canadian government has bought eight Senators for Ukraine, but that is dwarfed by purchases from other countries. NATO and other western allies have bought dozens more since the war broke out. In all, there are at least a hundred Senators currently being used by Ukrainian military and law enforcement agencies engaged in defending the country. And the reviews have been glowing. After the early days of the war, when Ukrainian soldiers were being transported in commercial vehicles with no armour, or captured Russian vehicles, the Senator has been a godsend.
The Roshel Senator is a high mobile multi-purpose armoured personnel carriers, which was specifically developed for peacekeeping and law enforcement applications. This tactical platform features a high level of maneuverability as well as advanced off-road capabilities, making it efficient in accomplishing its missions in urban and cross-country terrain, according to the company. Depending on the intended role, the Roshel Senator provides ballistic and mine protection for up to CEN B7/ STANAG 4569 Level II. The base model of the Senator comes with perimeter gunports, escape hatches, perimeter view cameras, gas extraction system, siren/PA system, emergency lighting, military-grade mine protected seats, 3-point military-grade seatbelts and many other security systems and emergency equipment.
Roshel had been selling the Senator mostly to security and law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and other western allies. The vehicle was used to transport NASA astronauts to a SpaceX launch to the International Space Station in May 2020. On the heels of Canada’s announcement of eight Roshel Senators to Ukraine in April, Lloyd Austin, the U.S. Secretary of Defense lauded Canada’s Defence Minister Anita Anand during a news conference at the Pentagon. Roshel’s efficiency and customer base with more than 92 per cent of these Canadian-made vehicles in Ukraine have been purchased by other nations that is making it a bit of a disruptor in the industry. Just this month, it expanded into more warehouse space to increase its capacity. And after producing more than 200 Senators this year, it is planning to churn out at least 1,000 in 2023.