GATINEAU, Quebec, July 29 (UPI) -- The Canadian government is moving ahead with plans to acquire as many as 1,500 trucks for its armed forces.
Public Works and Government Services Canada, on behalf of the Department of National Defense, said recently that it has issued a Request for Proposal from industry. The RFP will close in December of this year and the contract for the medium-sized trucks will be announced in the third quarter of 2015.
The announcement by the government agency coincided with one from U.S. vehicle manufacturer Oshkosh Defense that it intends to bid on the fleet modernization program.
"We are committed to providing tactical vehicles with the performance and protection that Canadian Forces require to keep their missions moving," said John Urias, Oshkosh Corp. executive vice president and president of Oshkosh Defense. "By developing a nationwide network of [Canadian] suppliers, Oshkosh Defense is well-positioned to support Canadian vehicle modernization strategy and bring measurable benefits to the Canadian economy."
Canada first began exploring the vehicle acquisition with industry at the beginning of this year when it issued a Letter of Interest and then conducted one-on-one meetings with representatives of vehicle manufacturers.
Public Works and Government Services Canada said the vehicles to be procured would be in the standard military pattern and would come in five variants. In addition to the vehicles, the military would also require associated equipment and in-service logistics support for the operational life of the vehicles.
Government testing and evaluations of vehicles offered by companies are scheduled to take place next year.
Delivery of the first vehicle under the contract award would occur in 2017, with final deliveries the following year, the agency said.
The government's Industrial and Regional Benefits Policy will apply to the contract issued. The IRB is designed to ensure that a government contractor creates economic benefits in Canada equal to 100 percent of the contract value, including a minimum of 20 percent direct IRB for the acquisition and 35 percent direct IRB for the in-service portions of the work.
Oshkosh Defense said the vehicles it intends to offer will leverage its current product line and that its sustainment services.
"The Oshkosh MSVS SMP [Medium Support Vehicle System, Standard Military Pattern] solution is designed to improve the protection and performance capabilities of the Canadian Forces' medium-payload fleet, both today and for decades to come," said Serge Buchakjian, senior vice president and general manager of International Programs for Oshkosh Defense. "The MSVS SMP technical solution developed by Oshkosh is based on a platform with more than 1 billion real-world operational kilometers in missions around the globe."
Oshkosh Defense said it would use a Canadian network of suppliers and assemblers and that its efforts would be conducted from the Oshkosh Defense Canada office in Ottawa, Ontario.