Canadian American Strategic Review


Special Ops




In Detail

Background  —   Special Operations Vehicles   —  SOIQ  Summary

Special Operations Vehicles – Special Reconnaissance (SR) and Quick Reaction (QR) Vehicles
DND has released a Notice of  Proposed Procurement for Special Operations Vehicles. There's almost no details in the NPP but the SOIQ (Solicitation of  Interest and Quali- fications reveals that two distinct vehicle types – one SR (Special  Reconnaissance) and one QR  (Quick Reaction). Both vehicle types are open-topped  –  in contrast to the in-service G-wagon C&R. Both are also to have a degree of side/belly armour protection unlike the Humvees used by JTF2. The SOIQ gives a rough sketch of what DND is hunting for. The SR emphasizes "situational awareness" and firepower. The QR (possibly a totally different 'platform') is similar but may be slightly larger.

Unlike most existing Special Forces vehicles (left), these SOVs would  have  NATO Level 1a/b protection against mine blast and  ballistic protection  at Level 1 (for the 80 SRs) and  Level 2  (for the 20 QRs).  A belly plate would protect from mines, removable panels would provide the sides with ballistic protection (and, hopefully from some side blast from IEDs). This concept sounds very like the VAP from Panhard (right) but this vehicle was designed for export only and  the SOIQ  places  graded value on a vehicle being both military off-the-shelf  and already in service with NATO or the Australian military.

The specified armament is a 7.62mm  C6  general purpose machinegun on a swing-arm mount beside the driver and on the main turret-ring mount, a heavier weapon –  either the 12.7mm M2HB machinegun or  an automatic grenade launcher – likely an HK GMG to match the weapon used in the CF's C16 CASW. Unlike most existing SOVs, main armament is to have a gun shield and the turret-ring will  have power assistance.[1]

 Special Operations Vehicles SOIQ (Number W6399-09AA24/A) – Requirements Summary
 Crew:   SR: 4 (Crew Commander, Driver, Gunner, Mission Specialist); QR: 4-to-5 [2]
  Multi-fuel engine (STANAG 4362, NATO Single Fuel Concept – able to use
  contaminated found-in-the-field sub-standard fuels); automatic transmission
 Operations:   Extreme terrain, 2700 m+ above sea level, temperatures from -40°C  to +50°C
 Range:   Operational range, QR: over 350 km;(217 miles), SR: over 400 km;(248 miles)
 Performance:   Few specifications, speed/acceleration high as possible, unprepared fording
 Weights:   Combined: 6820 kg (GVWR may be higher), max. ground pressure: 280 kPa
 Payload:   Volume: 2.0 cubic metre, QR 1000 kg (2200 lbs) or more, SR 2000 kg or more
 Crew:   Driver, crew commander, gunner, mission specialist (QR 2 mission specialists)
 Protection:   Ballistic: NATO Level 1, landmine: SR NATO Level 1a/'b, QR Level 2a/'b [3]
 Transportable:   Inside of CC-130 Hercules, slung from CH-147 Chinook or CH-148 Cyclone

There will be four mission variants based on both SR and QR or on a combina- tion of  these two SOV platforms  (the exact breakdown has yet to be decided). The variants are: the troop carrier/weapons platform, the cargo carrier (with an optional tow package and  trailer), an ambulance, and a simpler litter carrier for stretcher cases. The vehicles will be expected to operate in austere conditions for extended periods without outside support  –  hence the requirement to run on scrounged, potentially contaminated fuel. Both driver and crew commander will be able to control arrays of  76mm grenade launchers (for smoke and frag.). Probable CF  SOV candidates are the Supacat  Jackal  and  Rheinmetall Wolf.

[1] The SOIQ places great importance on commonality with current CF equipment including this weapons station. This seems rather odd. The only remotely similar in-service stations are the G-wagon C&R ring-mounts which had trouble mounting M2s. Hardly ideal for AGLs.

[2] The ideal SOV crew size has been revised downwards since the SOIQ was first issued. Initially, SR crew sizes above 5 were to be rated.

[3] DND requirements refer to NATO STANAG 4569 protection levels. Level 1 ballistic protection means proof against the kinetic energy of 7.62 x 51mm NATO rifle rounds at a velocity of 833 m/s from 30m away. Level 1 landmine protection means proof against blast effects of anti-personnel mines (10-to-250g explosive). Level 2 landmine protection means proof against blast effects of anti-tank mines (6 kg of explosive). Level 1a/Level 2a refers to mines exploding beneath a wheel, Level 1b/Level 2b refers to mines exploding beneath the vehicle.