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LAV III Armoured Vehicle Upgrade  –  GoC News Release  –  Oct 2011

'LAV UP' – Light Armoured Vehicle III Upgrade Project Contract

Update 10 Nov 2012: Options on additional LAV UP conversions have been exercised. With 66 more LAV UP conversions announced, LAV upgrade totals now stand at 616.
As the Minister of  Public Works and Government Services, Rona Ambrose makes procurement announcements regarding new DND procurements. Of  late, Ms Ambrose has taken flak  for  'recycling' news  (as in her  Made-in-Canada 'revelation' for NSPS ). Now she is announcing a contract to begin the 'Implementation Phase' of a LAV III Upgrade program. This is good ... but is it news? 'LAV UP' was announced in early July 2009. So what is newsworthy about a contract promising to pay for a thing you had promised to do? Put another way, is not bailing on promises now a great achievement?

"Show me your achievement  –  and the knowledge will give me courage for mine ..."

Banging on about "...productive achievement as [ the] noblest activity" as opposed to "blunder[ing] on the borders of a repartee" for convenience may seem too much to ask of a modern politician.  But Ms Ambrose is a self-professed  Libertarian and admirer of Ayn Rand. As such, she should be able to distinguish between achievement and spin.

'Implementation Phase' is the phrase that sticks. It's true in the sense that actual action will occur any second now. The 'spin' is crowing about "follow through" on a program announced over two years ago and  running six months late already. No doubt, GDLS - C and its 'subs'  have been chomping at the bit but not much was going to happen until  the GoC  'followed through ' with a cheque. And its not like the GoC had alternatives. LAV III remains the CF's  major armoured vehicle. [1]

Of course, vehicle details are for DND not PWGSC. Associate Defence Minister Julian Fantino made his announcement of this 'LAV UP' contract at GDLS-C in London, ON... where the 2,200 immediate jobs are. This left Ms Ambrose to recycle elements of  July 2009 news releases in her Edmonton home riding. Yes, that's where LAV UP assembly will take place. Yes, there are 110 local jobs on the line. But announcements aren't 'real action' and citizens notice when they are being sold the same bag of beans over again.

That doesn't effect the quality of the beans. LAV IIIs are good armoured vehicles that are about to get much better. As for you, Ronalee, here's a quote you'll recognize: This "is the physical form of  the treason you committed  to your values, to your friends, to your defenders, to your future, to your country, to yourself."  Lose the spin, eh, Rona.
[1] The smaller Tactical Armoured Patrol Vehicle (TAPV) project, should it go through, would be next in size – a TAPV order is to be 500 vehicles (300 utility, 200 recce types).

Government of Canada  News Release

Edmonton-based company will upgrade CF's fleet of  Light Armoured Vehicles

Edmonton, Alberta,  October 21, 2011 –   The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Public Works and  Government Services ... today announced  that the Government of Canada has awarded a contract to General Dynamics Land Systems - Canada  for the implementation phase of  the  Light Armoured Vehicle (LAV) III  Upgrade Project.

"This announcement is good news for our Canadian Forces, for Canadian workers, and for the Canadian economy," said  Minister Ambrose. "This  [ LAV III Upgrade] contract helps to sustain over 110 jobs right here in Edmonton. In turn, this work will help to protect our women and men in uniform in land combat vehicles."  [...]

Canada’s LAV III vehicles have served the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan and other areas of operation.  [ LAV IIIs] are state-of-the-art combat vehicles used  to transport infantry on the battlefield while providing defensive protection and firepower.

"This Government continues to follow through on its commitment to provide our men and women in uniform with the tools they need to do the jobs asked of them," said the Honourable Peter MacKay,  Minister of  National  Defence. "Whether it be a new fleet of  federal ships,  a new family of  combat vehicles, or new planes to defend  Canadian skies, this government is providing the Canadian Forces with the foundation to build a first-class, modern military that is ready to take on the challenges of the 21st Century."

The LAV III  Upgrade Project  Implementation Phase contract is necessary to improve the protection of  these vehicles against mines and improvised explosive devices, [to] improve their mobility, [to] improve the safety of  CF members on board LAV IIIs, and incorporate ergonomic and  information management improvements.  The contract, valued at $1.064 billion, will upgrade 550 LAV IIIs, extending their lifespan to 2035.

The Industrial and Regional Benefits (IRB) Policy will apply to this contract. The IRB Policy ensures that economic benefits flow to Canadaas a result of defence procure- ments, which means that General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada will be required to re-invest into Canada 100 per cent of the contract value, further expanding the econo- mic benefits from this procurement in regions across the country. This contract is part of over 60 major procurements subject to the IRB Policy, which represents over $20 billion in IRB commitments from major defence contractors.

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