Close Combat Vehicle problems continue

The Canadian government’s plan to procure Close Combat Vehicles (CCVs) continues to be plagued by problems, reports David Pugliese (“Trouble continues for Close Combat Vehicle project,” Ottawa Citizen, 24 October 2013):

The government committee reviewing the [CCV] project was told infrastructure costs, the implementation of information systems, the cost of a support contract and the absence of a training simulator represented a “high risk” to the project, documents showed.

Originally, the Canadian Army believed the CCV was a priority for future operations, and DND senior officials claimed that the procurement process would be efficient in a February 2010 briefing for former Defence Minister Peter MacKay.

Senior department officials not only pointed out that the CCV purchase was low risk on its cost, schedule and technical issues but that the first vehicles would arrive in Canada in 2012. All would be delivered by 2014, they added in a briefing obtained by the Citizen using the Access to Information law.

In the spring of 2012, however, Public Works decided to cancel and restart the CCV procurement competition. And earlier this year, the Canadian Army asked DND to cancel the CCV procurement project entirely, a change in mind brought on by an impending Army budget cuts and unexpectedly high costs.

Recently the Canadian Press, citing internal government documents, reported that it is going to cost the Canadian Army more than planned to house the new armoured vehicles, and commanders fear they won’t be able to afford basic upkeep of the CCV fleet in the future.

However, DND and Public Works seem intent on proceeding with the CCV procurement, even with the Canadian Army against it. Saab, one of the companies revealed to be vying for the Canadian CCV contract, recently wrote an article in Canadian News Wire to point out the benefits that Saab and its partners bring to the Canadian economy.

In light of this, Ceasefire supporters sent nearly 4,000 letters to their respective MPs and Prime Minister Stephen Harper requesting the cancellation of the CCV procurement.

If not the CCV, then what?

The Light Armoured Vehicle III (LAV-III) upgrade has been a different experience. Originally thought to be a source of concern, the LAV-III upgrade has proceeded on schedule. In a recent report from the Rideau Institute and Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Stewart Webb and Michael Byers argued that the upgraded LAV-III would be capable of filling the role the CCV is being purchased to fulfill.

Photo credit: U.S. Army

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