CANADIAN CLOSE COMBAT VEHICLE PROJECT DELAYED BY DAVID PUGLIESE OTTAWA CITIZEN REPORTER

 

BY DAVID PUGLIESE

OTTAWA CITIZEN

 

The Close Combat Vehicle project has fallen behind its schedule with the delay being attributed to issues around industrial region benefits, Defence Watch has learned.

 

A solicitation of interest and qualifications or SOIQ was supposed to be issued in September to industry with a request for proposals to follow by mid-November.

 

Neither has been issued.

 

The Defence Department has declined to discuss the CCV project or allow officials to do interviews on the acquisition, estimated to be worth around $1 billion. As a general rule, neither the Canadian Army nor the office of Assistant Deputy Minister Dan Ross allow media interviews on equipment programs.

 

Public Works and Government Services spokeswoman Celine Tremblay noted that the government is working closely with the defence industry to address requirement for the Close Combat Vehicle.

 

An industry day was held on September 2 and 3 and feedback was received during one-on-one sessions with contractors, she added. That information was assessed to ensure potential changes are addressed within the Solicitation of Interest and Qualifications.

 

“The Government of Canada will issue the SOIQ for the Close Combat Vehicle (CCV) on when the review process is complete,” Tremblay stated in an email.

 

Defence sources say there is general agreement within the bureaucracy on the need for the armoured vehicle program but there has been some concern about how industrial regional benefits will be handled. The Harper government has been concerned about the criticism that it has received that billions of dollars has been spent or earmarked for new military equipment but Canada’s industry has seen little work from that spending.

 

However, defence sources believe that government concerns regarding industrial regional benefits can be dealt with and they expect a request for proposals for the CCV to be issued within the next month.

 

The Close Combat Vehicle project will involve the procurement and fielding of the armoured vehicles as well as the development and implementation of a through-life in-service support contract.

 

The Canadian Forces will acquire 108 vehicles with an option for up to 30 more. The contract is scheduled to be awarded by summer 2011 with initial operational capability (IOC) declared one year later in July 2012, according to DND officials. The CCV is expected to reach full operational capability by July 2015.”

 

The Canadian Forces sees the CCV as bridging the gap between light armoured vehicles (five to 20 tonnes) and heavy armoured vehicles (more than 45 tonnes), coming in between 25 and 45 tonnes. The CCV will allow infantry to operate in support of the Leopard 2 tanks, providing the Army with a more balanced and integrated fleet, according to the Army.

 

Nexter Systems, the French armored vehicle firm,  is offering the Canadian Army its wheeled VBCI armoured vehicles for the CCV project. The Hagglund’s tracked CV90 from BAE Systems is also being offered for CCV.

 

At this point, armoured vehicle manufacturer Rheinmetall has not indicated whether it will take part in the project.

 

For more Canadian Forces and Defence Department news or articles by David Pugliese of the Ottawa Citizen go to David Pugliese’s Defence Watch at:

 

http://communities.canada.com/ottawacitizen/blogs/defencewatch/

 

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