UPDATE: Thales, DEW, BAE team up on defence truck pacts

OBJ Staff
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BAE Systems, which has a large Ottawa presence, announced teaming agreements Thursday with two Ottawa defence firms for a pair of Canadian Forces truck programs.

The current fleet of medium logistic vehicles is around 30 years old. (Photo courtesy of Department of National Defence)

The teaming agreement for the medium-logistic vehicle program will be shared between DEW Engineering & Development, which has about 200 local employees, and United Kingdom-headquartered BAE, which has around 20 local employees. 

The Canadian government announced in 2006 that it was looking to acquire 2,300 five-tonne trucks for $1.1 billion, plus $100 million in service support over 20 years. The current fleet is about 30 years old and is used both domestically and in theatre.

"By aligning with DEW ... we have an opportunity to combine our proven, high-quality tactical vehicle and associated systems pedigree with DEW’s detailed knowledge of and extensive experience with Canadian vehicle and customization requirements," stated Chris Chambers, a BAE Systems vice-president.

The two companies have worked with each other since 1999 on a Canadian Forces M113 armoured-vehicle life extension, and recently agreed to partner on a tactical armoured patrol vehcle program. 

Individually, DEW has done work for the Canadian Army's light-armoured vehicles and Leopard tanks, while BAE has built more than 70,000 medium tactical trucks and trailers for the U.S. Army and others.

Also announced on Thursday: Thales Canada, which has 140 employees locally, will seek to provide vehicle electronic architecture for the tactical armoured patrol vehicle, which will include design services from DEW and overall work from BAE.

The TAPV, which is intended to replace some light-armoured vehicles used by the Canadian Forces now, will be a general utility combat vehicle that can do reconnaissance, command and control and cargo delivery, the Canadian government has said.

Textron, which also has a presence in Ottawa, is a competing bidder for the project.

Canadian Forces officials are seeking 500 vehicles with an option for 100 more, with the first ones entering operation in 2013.

“Thales Canada is known for its competitive systems solutions and integration skills. We look forward to providing a low-risk Canadian designed solution to BAE Systems and the Canadian Army that will meet and exceed the stated TAPV requirements,” stated Paul Kahn, president and chief executive of Thales Canada.

Major clients of Thales, which is based in France, include the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the European Space Agency.

The Department of Defence will announce the winning TAPV bidder around June 2012.

Organizations: DEW Engineering, BAE Systems

Geographic location: United Kingdom

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