The first Tactical Armoured Patrol Vehicles (TAPV), built by Textron Systems Canada Inc., arrived at 5th Canadian Division Support Base Gagetown on 12 August 2016. According to the 5th Canadian Division’s Facebook page they were unloaded at building L-33 where a final check took place before the Canadian Army took ownership.
The first six vehicles will be used for initial cadre training for operators and maintainers which is set to start next week. The Canadian Army (CA) says it expects to declare full operational capability by mid-2020, following training of all operators, and completion of user trials and exercises confirming operational readiness.
The fleet of 500 vehicles, bought in June 2012 for C$603.4M (€416.2M), should all be delivered by January 2018 and will be distributed across seven bases and 24 units. There will be two variants: 300 General Utility and 200 Reconnaissance. The latter will be fielded to armoured reconnaissance squadrons, infantry reconnaissance platoons and the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps School.
Despite its 18.4 tonnes, the vehicle’s Cummins QSL 365 engine allows it a maximum speed of 105 kph and a range of 644km. It has a Kongsberg Protech Systems Protector DRWS (Dual Remote Weapon Station) allowing gunners to aim and fire from inside the vehicle. The weapons stations has a 40mm automatic grenade launcher and a C6 flex machine gun.
The CA says that “a notable feature of the TAPV is its very high level of protection and survivability against enemy threats, which includes improvised explosive devices, explosively-formed projectiles, and anti-armour weapons. The […] vehicle far exceeds the Army’s essential requirements for protection levels, thereby offering an additional degree of confidence for operators when entering enemy theatre.”
Based on Textron Systems’ COMMANDO Elite vehicle, Textron Systems explains that the TAPV is “engineered to meet the Canadian Army’s demanding standards, including operability in both extreme cold and heat.”
First and second-line maintenance of the TAPV fleet will be performed by the Canadian Armed Forces which will hold a stock of 60 days worth of spare parts, but otherwise in-sevice support for the vehicle will be largely supported by the contractor, Textron Systems, and their subcontractor Rheinmetall Canada who have a performance-based contract to ensure good reliability and fleet availability.
Interestingly, the TAPV fleet will be the first CA vehicle fleet to have a Health and Usage Monitoring System (HUMS). This HUMS includes sensors throughout the vehicle that record key data, and provide information to assist with maintenance and fleet management.