Canadian Army spends $36 million to Improve armour

Discussion in 'SitRep' started by 102first_hussars, Nov 24, 2005.

  1. 102first_hussars

    102first_hussars Active Member

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    - The Canadian army is spending $36 million to improve the armour plating on its relatively thin-skinned reconnaissance vehicles and trucks destined for duty in war-torn Afghanistan.


    A team of seven specialists spent several weeks adding bolt-on armour to dozens of half-tonne trucks, Bison troop carriers, Coyote reconnaissance vehicles and Light Armoured Vehicles, otherwise known as LAV3s.

    The plating is meant to protect soldiers from rocket-propelled grenades and roadside bombs favoured by insurgents around the former Taliban stronghold of Kandahar.

    The upgrade comes as Canada ramps up its commitment to the region. By February, as many as 1,500 Canadian troops will be on the ground, helping coalition forces rebuild the area.

    "Most of the vehicles there (now) have add-on armour," said Maj. James Atkins, who is in charge of equipment for armoured vehicles.

    "Part of the (force) expansion includes more vehicles. So as much as possible we're trying to up-armour those vehicles. As a rule of thumb, we'd like to up-armour all of them, but there is a cost factor here."

    Adding the extra plating costs about $100,000 per vehicle.

    On Tuesday, police in Kabul blamed al-Qaida for twin suicide bombings against NATO peacekeepers in the Afghan capital.

    Nine people, including a German peacekeeper and two suicide attackers, were killed.

    If al-Qaida involvement is confirmed, it would reinforce fears that the terror network is still working with the Taliban, which U.S.-led forces ousted from power in 2001.

    No Canadians were reported involved in Monday's deadly blast, which was the first major attack on foreign troops in Kabul in a year.

    Meanwhile, there have been persistent concerns about the level of protection offered by Canadian patrol vehicles.

    Two soldiers were killed when their Iltis jeep struck a land mine in the fall of 2003 near Kabul and a third trooper died when a suicide bomber threw himself on the hood of another vehicle a few months later.

    The tragedies prompted the army to speed up the replacement of the much-maligned Iltis with new, heavier Mercedes-Benz G-wagons, one of which survived a recent roadside bomb attack near Kandahar with virtually no damage.

    The extra armour plating - essentially pre-cut sheets of aluminum and ceramic tile - is purchased in kits and takes several hours to bolt to each vehicle.

    Last month, the federal Conservatives accused the Liberal government of "failing to properly equip Canadian troops before they were deployed on a dangerous, high-risk mission in Kandahar."

    But Atkins said soldiers are not being put unnecessarily at risk and unarmoured vehicles will likely be banned from leaving camp in Kandahar.

    Improvements in the quality of armour-piercing ammunition, which easily punctures metal, left many countries scurrying in the 1990s to reinforce their troop carriers and tanks.

    In 1994-95, the Canadian army undertook a program to strengthen the protection of the armoured personnel carriers being used for peacekeeping in Bosnia and Croatia.

    An add-on armour kit that used cut-paste, ceramic-like tiles was used, as opposed to the current bolt-on system.

    The use of the cut-paste kits was discontinued a few years ago, said Atkins.

    "We used it for several years in Bosnia, (but) it wasn't entirely satisfactory for us," he said, noting that some of the tiles fell off when vehicles bumped against trees or buildings.

    In 2000, health concerns were raised about the cut-paste kits.

    Warrant Officer Michael Peace, of Gagetown, N.B., claimed that the cutting and pasting of the tiles created dust that made him and other members of his platoon sick.

    The 20-year army veteran died of a brain tumour in October 2000, five years after his unit of the Royal Canadian Regiment was based in an abandoned Visoko factory where the army added cut-paste plating to 82 armoured personnel carriers.

    During a subsequent military inquiry, 34 other soldiers came forward to say they were suffering from a variety of unexplained illnesses.

    The inquiry concluded there was no link between the vehicle modifications and soldiers' illnesses.

    Atkins said the switch to bolt-on armour was made for technical reasons.
     
  2. Nonskimmer

    Nonskimmer Active Member

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    You know, I never understood why the Iltis is "much maligned". It's not the jeep's fault that it's often used where it shouldn't be. It's a perfectly good little jeep, it's just that it often gets used as a Humvee, which it certainly is not.

    By the way, did you here about the LAV-III that rolled over in Afghanistan today? One of the 2 RCR guys was killed. Too bad.
    I just have one question though. How the hell do you roll over a LAV-III? :scratch:
     
  3. 102first_hussars

    102first_hussars Active Member

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    I heard in that case it was because it hit a f*cking pothole, thats embarassing.

    Its pretty easy to roll that sucker over, its top heavy to whenever you make a turn you always fell the weight shifting, I got to ride in one of those, pretty fast scary as F*ck though.
     
  4. Nonskimmer

    Nonskimmer Active Member

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    Must've been one hell of a pothole! :shock:
     
  5. 102first_hussars

    102first_hussars Active Member

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    Well the media says it was a pothole, but those RCR guys drink more than you and me combine so chances are they ran off the side of the road and rolled into a ditch which to me is symbolic of our military.
     
  6. Nonskimmer

    Nonskimmer Active Member

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    Goin' out drunk and stupid?
     
  7. 102first_hussars

    102first_hussars Active Member

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    Actually thats my Idea of a damn good time, but the rolling into a ditch part thats the symbolic part :rolleyes:
     
  8. Nonskimmer

    Nonskimmer Active Member

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    The CBC reports that three more are seriously injured, but that none of the injuries are life-threatening.

    Well, here's to ya anyway buddy. Sh*tty thing to go all the way over there just to get it in a vehicle accident. Good thing the other fellas weren't killed. :confused:
     

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  9. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    Can I suggest that we don't jump to the wrong conclusion. Thers an equal chance that the road may have given way under the weight of the thing if they go anywhere near the edge.
     
  10. Nonskimmer

    Nonskimmer Active Member

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    Nobody is jumping to conclusions, we're just shooting the sh*t. You're absolutely right though Glider. The facts are completely unknown at this point. Nothing but vague news reports. In any event though, it's bad to lose a guy and have his buddies seriously injured, even though it was a non-combat related mishap. A sad loss just the same. His family will certainly think so.
     
  11. Maestro

    Maestro Active Member

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    That's sad.

    NS, is it the picture of the guy who got killed that you posted ?

    That may sound rude or rotten, but if he didn't got killed in that accident, a sniper would have spotted him. What's the idea of wearing a desert-like camo suit with a forest-like camo flak-jacket ?

    I would rather use an "undershirt" (Police-like) flak-jacket or no flak-jacket at all. It would be more dangerous if I got shot at, but at least I would be harder to spot.

    But it must be the fault of either the Government or the High Command...
     
  12. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Believe it or not you do not want to wear just desert colors in that environment. Most of the desert areas of Afganistan and Iraq are not completly sand but rather dried out soil and there are trees and vegitation that grows there. They are nothing like the Sahara (yes there are places in the desert that are like the Sahara just rolling sand but for the most part not that much, atleast not Iraq). You use green to help break up your outline and camoflage you better. If you wore just tan or brown you would actually stick out more.
     
  13. Nonskimmer

    Nonskimmer Active Member

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    Yeah, that's him in the picture.

    Not this time. ;)
    They do have desert tac vests, but they don't always wear them. For the reasons Adler stated I guess.

    It turns out the guy was a local boy. He grew up over across the harbour from me, in Eastern Passage on the Dartmouth side. It was on the news this morning.
     
  14. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    I know when we were in Iraq we still wore the woodland camo armoured vests and winter jackets when it was cold.
     
  15. 102first_hussars

    102first_hussars Active Member

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    The only Areas in Afghanistan that have a noticeable amount of vegetation are in the mountains, the main concentrated areas of which Canadians are mostly in and around Kandahar's proximity, which I know from experiense is 100% Death Valley style desetr terrain, however there is small areas of land in which is used for farming which has small green dots,but the colour of the sand is such that the lightest fade of green could be spottest from a long distance, Its helpfull in a sense that we can identify people as freindlys that way when on patrol. But the only reason we have green vests and desert smalks are simply because we have a very short supply of desert vests and not everybody received them, hell I went 4 months without finally getting a Desert uniform.
     
  16. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    I have not been to Afganistan, only Iraq so I can not vouch for there. I know Iraq is mostly really dusty dry land. Date Palms everywhere though. To the eastern portions of Iraq and the western portions is 'real' Sahara type desert.
     
  17. Nonskimmer

    Nonskimmer Active Member

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    I just did a little reading up on those LAV-III's. Jesus, I never realized just how tippy they are. It's as tippy as an SUV in a turn. It was the same type of rolling accident that killed that young Vandoo in Wainwright back in September. What have there been now, ten deaths due to rolling accidents in the LAV-III? I guess it should be really stressed to the fellas learning how to drive them. Apparently more than it already is.
     
  18. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    That is actually what has killed a lot of our guys in Iraq. There vehical rolls over and they happen to role into a canal or river and then they drown.
     
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