As the Canadian government continues to come under fire for exports of armoured personnel carriers to countries like Saudi Arabia and South Sudan, our own military is looking to augment its capabilities with an entirely new type of ground vehicle.Serious question. Are ground forces world wide simply buying vehicles so that they can get a slice of the budget that the F-35 is gobbling up? The reason why I ask is because the ultra light combat vehicle is basically becoming type cast as the Polaris MRZR and its a fairly cheap purchase.
Following in the footsteps of the American military, Canada has issued a call for tender for 52 new ultra-light combat vehicles, or ULCVs.
The ULCVs will be four-passenger, Jeep-like vehicles that are small and light enough to fit inside a Canadian Forces’ CC-177 Globemaster aircraft, a CC-130 Hercules aircraft or a CH-147 Chinook helicopter (or to be lifted externally by helicopter).
According to the tender documents, published earlier this week, they must also be designed “to be air dropped with a 900 kg payload” from either the Globemaster or the Hercules, and detached/offloaded from the helicopter within five minutes.
They need to be able to operate in extreme temperatures (-32C to +49C), handle a combination of urban and rural environments (mountainous, plains, jungle and woodland) and will be off-road 75 per cent of the time, the documents note.
“The Department of National Defence (DND) will be using the ULCV as a complimentary vehicle to increase mobility across a spectrum of operations,” confirmed department spokesperson Ashley Lemire in an email to Global News.
“The ULCV is a new type of vehicle and will be used in concert with the current fleet of DND ground vehicles to increase mobility on operations.”
These purchases could easily be cheered except for one thing. In my opinion they signal continued fighting in the middle east. I have yet to see any serious trials in any locale other than the desert. How will they perform in the jungle, urban areas or arctic? Can they perform in swamps or bogs (the answer is yes but they'll need even more modifications than you're seeing with the current vehicle).
I like the MRZR, but its time questions started being asked about the concept of operations and whether this is just the latest SAS "Pink" Land Rover....in other words a one theater vehicle.