Canada’s Armor Plans are So 1970’s
Last week the Canadian Military released plans for $5 billion in future armor upgrades, and the purchase of 108 new infantry fighting vehicles. While we applaud our neighbors up North for thinking of their troops, often seen fighting side-by-side with US troops in many grueling environments, the strategy behind the proposed “Close Combat Vehicle” seems suspiciously like requirements for fighting in a different century. Listen to David Pugliese:
The Close Combat Vehicle (CCV) will provide the Canadian Forces with a medium-weight infantry fighting vehicle that is both highly protected and tactically mobile.
Unlike the other vehicles in the Family of Land Combat Vehicles, the CCV is not replacing a vehicle in the current Canadian Forces fleet. Instead, the CCV will bridge the gap between light armoured vehicles (five to 20 tonnes) and heavy armoured vehicles (more than 45 tonnes), coming in between 25 and 45 tonnes.
The CCV will allow infantry to operate in intimate support of the Leopard 2 tanks, providing the Army with a more balanced and integrated fleet. This vehicle’s reliable protection and enhanced mobility and firepower will improve our troops’ combat effectiveness on the battlefield of today and tomorrow.
Or the battlefields of yesterday? Though all this sounds good, we think that lessons of modern war indicate the IFV shouldn’t be tied down to the slower moving tanks, especially in an insurgency or Hybrid Conflict, which restricts the mobility of such vehicles, where quietness and agility are an asset. The mindset that IFVs can only operate with tanks might also limit the boldness of your infantry, which is the only effective counter to a stealthy and agile foe in an insurgency conflict. We also see on the conventional battlefield, infantry being more essential than ever with the proliferation of man-portable anti-tank weapons.
Then 550 over-worked LAV III’s won’t get a replacement, just a rebuilding also scheduled for 2012. While the tracked CCV plans doesn’t sound like a disastrous concept for the Canadians, it does seem like too many unnecessary requirements, and seeing the vehicles will not be deployed until 2012, will make no impact to the ongoing fighting in Afghanistan. Could this be Canada’s version of America’s too ambitious Future Combat System?
More here from the Canadian Army.