Leopard 2 AEV – Armoured Engineer Vehicle – News – May
Leopard Specialty Vehicle: the MERX
Contract Award Notice for Armoured Engineer Vehicle Conversion and the Political Fallout
Appended below is a terse Contract Award Notice now posted on the MERX website. This Contract Award Notice
caused something of a political tempest in a teapot. DND has been accused by opposition MPs of trying to hide
details of military spending by burying the award of a $105M procurement contract amongst mundane
contracts for construction work and the like. The surprise is that opposition MPs think this is news.
At issue is the misfiling of this Contract Award Notice for the conversion of a spare
Leopard 2 hull into an Armoured Engineer Vehicle (AEV).
When any procurement document is prepared,
a Goods and Services Identification Number is assigned based on GSIN
categories. When the AEV Conversion NPP was written in Oct 2010, someone assigned GSIN N2520 – standing for "Vehicle Power Transmission
As its description in GSIN suggests, N2520 is generally applied to spare part orders. Complete rebuilding of an
armoured vehicle to fill a different role falls well outside that limited definition. But burying things in
MERX notices has become common practice.
The Problem of Procurement Procedures – Secrecy begets Obsfucation by Instinct
Minister of National Defence Peter MacKay has been quick to deny that DND tried to hide spending details. In an
interview on CTV, the MND was quoted as saying "That
... was on a DND and Public Works website for three years. It
was released accurately in detail at the time ... and suggestions otherwise are simply false." Is MacKay saying that
the rebuilding of armoured vehicles can be accurately described as 'spare parts' ?
Comparisons can be readily made with the procurement systems of other countries. In Australia, for example, major
military procurements are bundled in hierarchical groups. This doesn't ensure successful procurement. But it
does lay out all procurement plans and progress is a way that's accessible to the non-specialist citizen –
opposition MPs included. Denmark provides a similar model for clarity in procurement. The case of the Danes is
especially relevant here since they bought the earlier version of FFG's Wisent AEV. That was done
within the framework of Denmark's Five-Year Defence Plan which means that the Danish military couldn't afford to take
two years to order one prototype as Canada has just done. Transparency and efficiency in procurement.
Must be nice!
Getting there in the End – Nowadays just Choosing Something is a Victory of Sorts
If the MND and NDHQ wonder why they rarely get credit when something
finally pups through their labyrinthine procurement birth canal, it's this: no-one can follow the plot.
The citizens know that something is going on – their wallets keep getting lighter – they just
cannot puzzle their way through to an honest, straightforward scrap of information. Some at NDHQ play the 'if you
knew what I know' game. Cynical CF members sneer at journalists for 'getting it wrong' and think it witty to
deride the 'sheeple' for losing convoluted plots.
Lost in all of this is the minor miracle that an actual Canadian military procurement has occurred. Media reports
have tended to miss the "Quantity: 1" part but it's something. What it all signifies is trickier.
The Armoured Engineer Vehicle is a sub-set of DND's Tank Replacement
Project but not of the related Force Mobility
Enhancement project. The latter includes Armoured Recovery
Vehicle conversions. That is relevant because Rheinmetall's ARV 3 Büffel was chosen in preference to its FFG rival, the BPz Wisent
Wisent 2 can act as either ARV or AEV. DND's reason for rejecting FFG's Wisent 2 as an ARV whilst
preferring the exact same conversion for AEV might be perfectly sound. Of course, the general citizenry are
never privy to such reasoning. Instead, those who dare question DND can expect to be shouted
down by the Minister representing them.
The thing is, providing navigation through that byzantine planning-and-procurement maze at DND is part
of Peter MacKay's job. DND has wallowed in their rather paranoid puddle of secrecy for decades. Has Peter
MacKay ever questioned why he is such a 'popular' MND within DND? Consider the possibility that all of your fierce
defences of your Department are just part of the domestication process Pete. Then try to suck less.
 'Vehicle Power Transmission' is used in its loosest sense here to create a category broad enough to cover most
vehicular running gear components. The suggestions in media reports that GSIN N2520 is restricted to "transmission
parts" alone is inaccurate.
 Eg: NPP for "Spare Parts - Leopard Tanks" (Solicitation Number W8486-118547/A).
LEOPARD 2 CONVERSION TO AEV [ Armoured
Engineer Vehicle ] –
MERX Contract Award Notice
Contract Number W8476-102292/001/BLB
Reference Number PW-$$BL-270-20016
Solicitation Number W8476-102292/B
Contract End Date —
Award Type Award Notice
GSINS Description VEHICULAR POWER TRANSMISSION COMPONENTS
Amount $81,559,692.00 EUR [ Cdn
Solicitation Method —
Leopard 2 AEV Conversion
Trade Agreement: Agreement on Internal Trade
Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement: No
Notification Method: Public Advertising (MERX/GBO)
Contract Award Procedure (Procurement Strategy): Best Overall Proposal
GSIN Description: Vehicular Power TRANSMISSION Components
FFG Flensburger Fahrzeugbau Gesellschaft mbH
DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
101 COLONEL BY DR.