ARCHIVED - LAV III Upgrade Project

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Minister's Speech / June 6, 2010

London, ON

Minister Ambrose,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I’m extremely pleased to here with you today.

I’ve said many times that the courage and professionalism of the Canadian Forces make me proud to be the Minister of National Defence – proud to be Canadian. 

Our men and women in uniform volunteer to ensure the defence of our country and assume unlimited liability.

The very least we can do in return, as a government, is to provide all the support we can to mitigate the risks they take on behalf of all Canadians.

That’s why I’m also very proud that our government is providing the resources that the Canadian Forces need to carry out their essential missions, both here at home and abroad.

And today, we’re taking another important step in that direction …

I’m pleased to be here with my colleague, Minister Ambrose, to announce the award of a thirty-four million dollar contract to General Dynamics Land Systems Canada for the definition phase of the Light Armoured Vehicle Three (LAV III) Upgrade Project.

Last summer, I announced that our government was moving forward with one of the three core commitments of the Canada First Defence Strategy– the Family of Land Combat Systems and Vehicles projects.

These projects represent a five-billion dollar investment that will give the Canadian Army the capacity to respond effectively and successfully to the missions that we call on them to perform.

The investment includes:

  • the acquisition of three new land combat vehicles fleets; and  
  • the upgrade of our land forces' current fleet of  LAV Threes.

This is an important step towards ensuring that our land forces continue to be a first-class modern and combat-capable force.

Today's announcement brings us even closer to our objective.

For the past decade, the LAV Three has been the backbone of the Canadian army. 

It’s a versatile, rapid and well-armed vehicle that serves Canada extremely well.  

Recent experience has shown, however, that additional protection on the vehicle was needed to keep our soldiers as safe as possible.

Mines, improvised explosive devices and anti-armour weapons have become weapons of choice in a counter-insurgency operational context like the one in Afghanistan.

And many experts believe that this type of warfare will characterize future missions.     

Add-on armour and protection kits have already been installed on LAV Threes to improve the safety of our men and women in uniform.  

But the vehicle requires further improvement so that it can protect against new types of threats while remaining agile and swift.

And other LAV Three components require upgrades, including the turret, sensor and power generation capability.

The LAV Three Upgrade project resolves all these issues.

We are extremely pleased to partner again with General Dynamics Land Systems Canada.

As the original manufacturer of the vehicle and the owner of the technology rights, your company is in the best position to proceed with this phase of the LAV Three Upgrade project.

Ladies and Gentlemen, our government has made a commitment to modernize the Canadian Forces and undo the effects of the decade of darkness.  

That’s why we’re expanding the size of the Canadian Forces, both the Regular Force and the Reserve.

We're investing in defence infrastructures all across the country, improving the quality of life of our military personnel and stimulating economic activity in Canadian communities.

Every dollar that Canada spends on defence is a dollar invested in our economy – an investment that will create jobs, the kinds of jobs that support our economy.

We're also spending on training and spare parts to improve the deployability and sustainability of the Canadian Forces.

And we are determined to provide our men and women in uniform with the equipment they need.

We want to give the best to the best– the men and women who face danger in order to safeguard our values, which include freedom, democracy, and respect for human rights and the rule of law.

And today we’re following through once again.

Upgrading the LAV Threes represents a critical investment in the army and its ability to conduct operations safely and effectively well into the future. 

A better protected LAV Three will mean more Canadian lives saved.

A more effective LAV Three will mean more speed, mobility and agility in the field for the Canadian Forces.

An upgraded LAV Three will ensure that the vehicle will continue to be the backbone of our land forces for years to come.

Our men and women in uniform are making a difference every day, here at home and around the world.

I’m proud of the accomplishments of our Canadian Forces and I know you are too. 

Canadians have every right to be proud of the vital contributions made by our military.  

Thanks to the Canada First strategy, Canadians can remain confident that their military will have the tools it needs to defend the country …

…And to continue to be a positive force in the world, both today and in the future.

Thank you

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