London-made military vehicles, part of $3B order, start rolling off line

It’s the first look at a $3-billion deal for London industry.

General Dynamics Land Systems Canada on Monday rolled out the first vehicle it has assembled as part of a multi-billion-dollar order for 360 new LAV 6.0 light armoured vehicles for the Canadian military.

The Oxford Street manufacturer held an online event offering a first look at the armoured combat support vehicle – a troop carrier. It’s the first of eight different variants, military-speak for different models of the same vehicle.

It’s expected the second variant, a field ambulance, will roll off the line this summer.

Harjit Sajjan, federal minister of national defence, called the LAV 6 vehicle the “backbone” of the Canadian military and praised the nearly 2,000-strong London workforce.

“You do critical work every day,” he said.

Other variants include vehicle recovery, engineering, mobile repair, electronic warfare, troop carrying and command posts.

General Dynamics in London announced the four-year, $3-billion deal in 2019.

Since 2011, Ottawa has invested $1.5 billion to improve its London-made fleet of 550 LAV IIIs, extending their life to 2035.

ndebono@postmedia.com

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