General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS)has won a major arms procurement contract from , for the procurement of armored vehicles worth over $10 billion. The vehicles will follow a new design to be built at plant at London, Ontario.
Two vehicle families are currently built at the plant – the based Light Armored Vehicle ( ) and
originally designed by Force Protection Inc. The first vehicles will
roll off the production line in 2016. The number of vehicles included in
the deal has not been disclosed. The package includes training in and , as well as logistical support.
Saudi government has been shopping for light, fast and off-road
maneuverable armored vehicles from different manufacturers since 2009.
to criticism about selling arms to a country that have systematically
violated human rights, the Canadian Government defended the deal saying
that the Saudi deal will create and sustain more than 3,000 jobs a year
for 14 years and will benefit 500 Canadian companies. “Canada won these
jobs over rival bids from our western allies Germany and France. We
supported this agreement to bring these jobs to Canada.” Trade Minister
Ed Fast said, adding that the value of the deal could climb to nearly
$14 billion if all options are exercised.
The contract with the
Saudis follows an agreement last year that saw General Dynamics win a
$65.3-million US contract with the Colombian government for the
acquisition of 24 light armored vehicles. General Dynamics continues to
bid for other international orders, including one from Morocco.
contrast, last December the Canadian Ministry of Defense cancelled the
procurement of 108 ‘Close Combat Vehicles’ (CCV) in a deal that would
have worth $2 billions. , the French Nexter and of Germany were all competing for this program.