The Ottawa Citizen reports (David Pugliese, Combat vehicles for army on hold, document shows, Ottawa Citizen, 21 January 2010) that the purchase of a new fleet of Close Combat Vehicles (CCVs) for the army has been postponed by the Harper government. Although the CCV purchase had been promised as a top priority by Defence Minister Peter MacKay, Public Works and Government Services has sent a letter to defence industry officials stating that the potentially multi-billion dollar project is being put on hold, with no indication as to when (or if) the CCV procurement will proceed.
DND insists that the project has not been cancelled. The army maintains that the CCVs are important for future missions and that the project can “resume at any time.” However, according to the letter from Public Works, upgrading the army’s fleet of light armoured vehicles and purchasing a “tactical armoured patrol vehicle” are higher priorities for the government.
The cost of the CCV project was estimated to be as high as $2 billion. Even within the government, some officials had questioned the longer-term usefulness of the vehicles, given that Canadian combat forces are scheduled to be withdrawn from Afghanistan beginning in July 2011.