Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Canada's LAV deal with Saudi Arabia is slowly fading away...

via CBC.CA
A Canadian defence contractor will be selling fewer armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia than originally planned, according to new documents obtained by CBC News.

That could be a mixed blessing in light of the ongoing diplomatic dispute between the two countries, say human rights groups and a defence analyst.

The scaled-back order — implemented before the Riyadh government erupted in fury over Canada's public criticism of Saudi Arabia's arrest of activists and froze new trade with Canada this summer — could make it politically less defensible for the Liberal government, which has argued it's in the country's business and economic interests to uphold the deal.

The documents show General Dynamic Land Systems Canada, the London, Ont.-based manufacturer, was — as of spring last year — going to deliver only 742 of the modern LAV-6s, a reduction from the original 2014 deal.

The initial order from the desert kingdom was for 928 vehicles, including 119 of the heavy assault variety equipped with 105 millimetre cannons.

Details of the agreement have long been kept under a cloak of secrecy. General Dynamic Land Systems, the Canadian Commercial Corporation (the Crown corporation which brokered the deal) and the Saudi government have all refused to acknowledge the specifics, other than the roughly $15 billion price tag.

Last spring, CBC News obtained copies of internal documents and a slide deck presentation from 2014 outlining the original agreement.

The latest internal company documents obtained by CBC News are dated March 29, 2017, and indicate the agreement had been amended a few months prior, perhaps in the latter half of 2016.

The documents also indicate delivery of the vehicles is already underway and has been for months.

CBC News asked for a response from both Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland's office and General Dynamics Land Systems Canada. Both declined comment over the weekend.
I guess the Kingdom is no longer exercising "retail therapy" (think about that term...don't know who came up with that but to think that for some people shopping is therapy should scare us all!!!) when it comes to buying the favor of the West.

They've been all over the place when it comes to their arms purchases and while this will definitely hurt General Dynamics Canada and more importantly the workers/affiliated businesses, this could be good news for the US.


Because the Kingdom might be taking its defense needs seriously and MIGHT be trying to rationalize its purchases to develop a more effective force.

The article speculates that they just might be broke but I doubt that.  I think they're scared to death of Iran and they're about to get serious about their defense needs...FINALLY!

At the end of the day it matters little.  For the here and now they're buying fewer armored vehicles from Canada.

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