Skip first menu (access key: 1) Skip all menus (access key: 2) Go directly to top navigation bar (access key: M)
National Defence / Défense Nationale

Quick Search

News Room


Army Equipment for Operation ARCHER

BG–05.036 - November 29, 2005

The nature of Canada's role in bringing stability to Afghanistan and other failed and failing states is rapidly changing. The realistic threat of terrorism, suicide bombers, riots, explosive devices and well-armed militia is altering the operational environment for Canadian Forces. The Canadian Forces will increase its presence in Afghanistan in February 2006 by deploying approximately 2,000 personnel to the volatile and dangerous region of Kandahar.

Canadian soldiers face a complex and demanding mission in diverse landscapes ranging from mountainous, isolated and remote regions to busy urban centres with large populations. Gone are the days of heavy armoured formations. Today's Army needs to be mobile, responsive and flexible, and today's soldier needs the right equipment to meet the challenges of the new security environment.

The Canadian Army is quickly transforming into a knowledge-based, medium weight force using technology, information dominance and armoured wheeled-fleets as key weapons on the battlefield.

The Department of National Defence is purchasing $234 million of equipment required to carry out Canada's mission in the complex and demanding landscapes of Afghanistan.

This acquisition includes equipment designed to enhance the protection of our troops, precision munitions, vehicles, support equipment and technologically advanced surveillance, security and communications systems. More specifically this includes:

Armoured patrol vehicles

The armoured patrol vehicle (APV) provides a high level of protection for troops while they conduct patrols, as well as command, liaison and reconnaissance tasks in mountainous terrain and complex urban centres. The APV incorporates enhanced mine blast resistance as well as protection against both improvised explosive devices and ballistic threats.

The APV will incorporate a remote weapon station, equipped with a day and night sighting system, permitting the operator to fire the weapon from within the vehicle while remaining protected.

Estimated project value : $120 million, including spares, logistics support, and project and contingency costs.
Quantity required : 50 APVs with an unfunded option for up to 25 additional vehicles.
Procurement : A competitive bid process was undertaken with three bidders having been identified through a “price and availability” check conducted through the Government Electronic Tendering System (MERX) in September 2005. A $60.3 million contract has been awarded to General Dynamics Land Systems – Canada to provide 50 armoured patrol vehicles. The vehicles will be a version of the RG-31 Nyala, produced by BAE Land Systems OMC in the Republic of South Africa.
Delivery: Deliveries of the vehicles are expected to begin in February 2006; they will begin to arrive in theatre by March 2006.

Multi-mission radios and satellite communication on-the-move capability

The multi-band, multi-mission radio will be the communications backbone for the Army by allowing commanders to effectively share and disseminate information on the battlefield. The Army will be purchasing the Falcon II AN/PRC-117F(C) radio that is currently in use by other NATO Forces in Afghanistan.

Produced by Harris Corporation, the Falcon II radio covers a full range of band frequency and uses advanced software-defined radio technology. The radio provides embedded communications security, satellite communications and electronic counter-countermeasure capabilities. As this radio is in use by all NATO Forces in theatre it is required for interoperability with our allies.

The satellite communications on-the-move capability is provided by a foldable antenna system for the radio that allows patrols to maintain communications. The Army will purchase the antenna system from TRIVEC-AVANT, the original equipment manufacturer and the only company producing a system that allows for satellite communications while on the move.

Estimated project value up to : $9 million
Quantity required : 100 radios and 100 on-the-move antennas.
Procurement : In order to meet interoperability requirements with other NATO allies in Afghanistan, contracts will be sole-sourced to Harris Corporation for the radios and TRIVEC-AVANT for the antennas.
Delivery : Delivery is expected by February 2006.

Lightweight towed howitzer / Precision munitions / digitized fire control system

Lightweight towed howitzer

The 155-mm, M777 lightweight towed howitzer is the most suitable and capable system available to meet the Army's operational requirement and is available for deployment to Afghanistan in early 2006. It will enhance the Army's operational capability to provide indirect firepower at any time of day or night, under severe weather conditions. The M777, developed by BAE Systems, is the lightest 155-mm howitzer available, weighing in at 4,175 kg.

The high-tech M777 gun is capable of firing a 155-mm shell at a rate of two to five rounds per minute while achieving high levels of accuracy with targets up to 30 km away. It is designed to be flexible and is capable of rapid re-deployment by helicopter or ground vehicles.

Precision munitions

In addition to acquiring the M777 lightweight towed howitzer, the Canadian Army will purchase Excalibur precision 155-mm munitions through the United States military. The Excalibur is a precision-guided munition that extends the range to 40 km while significantly increasing accuracy.

Once fired, the precision-guided munitions use location data from global positioning system (GPS) satellites to steer precisely to the target. Increased accuracy will lead to less collateral damage, which is important when operating in high-density civilian populations.

Digitized fire control system

The digitized fire control system digitally integrates the fire control computer system with gun communications devices and sensors to increase the precision of the howitzers.

Lightweight 155 mm towed howitzer

Precision munitions

Digitized fire
control system

Estimated project value:

$70 million, including training and two years of supply support.

Quantity required:

Six M777 guns with precision munitions and a digitized fire control system


Foreign Military Sales
(U.S. Department of Defense)

Foreign Military Sales

(U.S. Department of Defense)

Sole-sourced to BAE Systems Land Systems, the original equipment manufacturer of the M777


By Dec ‘05

By May ‘06

By Feb ‘06

Tactical uninhabited aerial vehicle

Tactical uninhabited aerial vehicles (TUAVs) are remotely piloted aircraft that provide the military commander with real-time imagery at any time of the day and under any weather conditions. This allows the commander to obtain greater situational awareness of the area of operations and to facilitate timely and accurate decisions to reduce risk to the troops on the ground. Canada procured SPERWER TUAVs in 2003 to meet requirements for Operation ATHENA, Canada's contribution to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. These additional TUAVs will augment the current inventory to match increased demand and account for repair turn-around time.

Estimated project value up to : $15 million
Quantity required : Five
Procurement : The contract will be sole-sourced to Oerlikon-Contraves Canada, as the Canadian prime contractor for France's SAGEM, the original equipment manufacturer of the SPERWER TUAV.
Delivery: First deliveries are expected early in 2006.

Miniature uninhabited aerial vehicles

Similar to the tactical uninhabited aerial vehicle (UAV), the miniature UAV functions as a means of aerial reconnaissance and surveillance, but it is smaller in size and operates in shorter ranges and lower altitudes. It is designed to provide real-time feedback to tactical commanders at the unit and sub-unit level.

Estimated project value up to : $10 million
Quantity required : 10 systems
Procurement : A competitive bid process is being undertaken.
Delivery: Delivery will commence in April 2006. The Army must create and train a mini-UAV troop to operate these UAVs. The unit will be ready to commence duty in Afghanistan in late summer of 2006.

Iridium hand-held satellite telephones

There are limited capabilities when communicating with normal radios and handsets in the mountainous terrainof terrain of Afghanistan. Our soldiers need devices that can function in these difficult circumstances. The Iridium hand-held satellite telephones are secure, low-cost communications devices that have no range limitations and work in the complex terrain conditions found throughout the area of operations. The Iridium telephone is currently in use in Afghanistan.

Estimated project value up to : $750,000, including cases, manuals, ancillary equipment and spares.
Quantity required : 80
Procurement : Foreign Military Sales . The Iridium telephone will be purchased through the United States Department of Defence in order for security features, only available from the National Security Agency, to be integrated.
Delivery: Delivery will be complete by February 2006.

Colour camera system for Coyote reconnaissance vehicle

The colour camera system will provide the Coyote reconnaissance vehicle with the ability to discriminate between different coloured targets in a complex environment. Coyote surveillance operators will have access to colour images for improved target identification. Currently the Coyote is equipped with a black and white camera.

Estimated project value up to : $4 million, including spares.
Quantity required : 20
Procurement : The cameras will be purchased from General Dynamics Canada, as this contractor is the original equipment manufacturer for the Coyote surveillance system and owns the intellectual property rights for the surveillance system components.
Delivery : Integration into the sensor suite is expected to be complete by June 2006.

Diesel all-terrain vehicle

The diesel powered all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) offer a lightweight capability to haul small loads over the rough terrain of Afghanistan. The Army is purchasing the 6x4 M-GATOR manufactured by John Deere Ltd., the only diesel-fuelled utility ATV in production.

Estimated project value up to : $2.1 million
Quantity required : 48
Procurement : The contract will be sole-sourced to John Deere Ltd. The only type of fuel available to Canadian Forces deployed in Afghanistan is diesel; consequently, the M-GATOR is the only vehicle that meets the Army's requirements.
Delivery : Delivery will be complete by January 2006.

Multi-purpose container system

The standard sea containers that are used by the Canadian Forces for transporting and storing equipment, tools and supplies are too large for dispersed operations such as Operation ARCHER . Multi-purpose containers that can break down into smaller component containers will be procured for easier use in dispersed locations.

Estimated project value up to : $3 million
Quantity required : 288
Procurement : In order to maintain equipment standardization within the Canadian Forces and to gain interoperability advantages with NATO allies, the contract will be sole-sourced to the original equipment manufacturer, Charleston Marine Containers Inc. (CMCI).
Delivery: Fielding is expected to be complete by spring 2006.

This website is maintained by
Assistant Deputy Minister (Public Affairs) / ADM (PA)