The Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of National Defence, and General Wayne Eyre, Chief of the Defence Staff, marked a significant milestone in Canada’s military modernization as they visited Garrison Petawawa to officially accept the first four Armoured Combat Support Vehicles (ACSVs) for the Canadian Army. Minister Blair and General Eyre conducted a thorough inspection of the newly-arrived armoured vehicles, heralding the arrival of the initial batch of 360 Armoured Combat Support Vehicles, which will be gradually delivered to the Canadian Army in the coming years. These first four vehicles are configured as ambulance variants, equipped with a comprehensive inventory of medical supplies and an interior layout optimized for the treatment of a wide range of injuries, enhancing the Canadian Army’s ability to provide immediate medical support in the field. The acquisition of these ACSVs, made possible through the Armoured Combat Support Vehicle project, signifies a significant step forward in modernizing the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). These versatile vehicles are designed to fulfill a myriad of support roles on the battlefield, encompassing troop transport, command post, electronic warfare, mobile repair, and various combat engineering tasks, while offering a high degree of maneuverability and protection to their crews and payloads.
“The members of the Canadian Armed Forces deserve modern equipment that gets the job done. These new Armoured Combat Support Vehicles will serve our members well at home and abroad, enabling them to protect Canada and support our Allies. I thank the hundreds of Canadian workers involved in building these vehicles – and reaffirm our commitment to investing in our military while creating good jobs for Canadians,” the Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of National Defence said.
“Modernizing, renewing and improving our capabilities within the Canadian Armed Forces is essential to keep Canada safe in a world that grows more complex, and I am pleased to see the first variant of the Armoured Combat Support Vehicles project being delivered today. These ambulances, which were much needed, will provide enhanced protection for our personnel when it matters most whether they’re at home or abroad,” General W.D. Eyre, Chief of the Defence Staff said.
Beyond enhancing military capabilities, this procurement is generating substantial economic benefits for Canada. Thanks to a $2 billion investment in partnership with General Dynamics Land Systems – Canada, the project is sustaining 1,975 jobs annually in London, Ontario, and across the nation, while also contributing $250 million annually to Canada’s Gross Domestic Product over an eight-year span. The arrival of the ambulance variant represents just the beginning of a series of eight variants to be supplied under the ACSV project. Training programs for both maintainers and operators of these vehicles are slated to commence this month, underscoring Canada’s commitment to strengthening its armed forces under the defense policy “Strong, Secure, Engaged.” All ACSVs in the new fleet will be based on the Light Armoured Vehicle (LAV) 6.0 platform, replacing the existing LAV II Bison and M113 Tracked LAV fleets. This alignment with the LAV 6.0 platform offers operational advantages, including reduced training and sustainment costs, as well as the availability of common spare parts, ensuring rapid maintenance during critical operations.
The ACSVs will provide the CAF with an array of armoured support vehicles in eight variants, catering to diverse operational needs. These variants include the Command Post, Mobile Repair Team, Maintenance and Recovery Vehicle, Ambulance, Electronic Warfare, Engineer, Troop Cargo Vehicle, and Fitter Cargo Vehicle. CFB Petawawa is receiving the first batch of ambulance variants, with a total of 49 vehicles slated for delivery to bases across Canada in the coming months. The Industrial and Technological Benefits Policy, which applies to this contract, ensures that General Dynamics will invest an amount equal to the contract’s value back into the Canadian economy, providing opportunities for Canadian small and medium businesses, and supporting innovation and skills development for Canadian workers. In a demonstration of Canada’s commitment to international security, the nation had previously donated 39 Armoured Combat Support vehicles to Ukraine in the summer of 2022, all of which have been successfully delivered. On September 22, 2023, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a further investment of $650 million over three years to provide Ukraine with 50 armoured vehicles, including armoured medical evacuation vehicles, manufactured by Canadian workers in London, Ontario.