Canada’s special forces are getting a fleet of new combat vehicles that resemble dune buggies on steroids.
The vehicles, designed with the help of NASCAR engineers, will each be able to carry up to nine commandos.
American company Polaris Industries has been awarded the $20 million contract to deliver 78 of what Canadian special forces are calling the Ultra Light Combat Vehicle, or ULCV.
|Canadian special forces have bought the DAGOR vehicle from Polaris Industries|
The first 52 vehicles will be purchased immediately and delivered in 2017, said Pierre-Alain Bujold, a spokesman for Public Services and Procurement Canada. Polaris will be providing its DAGOR vehicle to the Canadian Special Operations Forces Command, or CANSOFCOM. The additional 26 vehicles will be delivered by early 2018, Bujold said.
A weapons turret will be installed on the vehicles, and they will be used by special forces mainly for off-road operations. They can be transported by a variety of Canadian military aircraft, including Chinook helicopters and C-17 and C-130 transport planes.
Canadian special forces currently operate a fleet of U.S. built High Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicles or Humvees. Those vehicles are located at Garrison Petawawa in the Ottawa Valley but can be used by various CANSOFCOM units, including the Ottawa-based Joint Task Force 2 counter-terrorism unit.
CANSOFCOM has upgraded the Humvees but wants eventually to buy replacement vehicles.
The contract with Polaris includes technical support services and integrated logistics support for two years, involving everything from spare parts to driver training.
Polaris Industries will be using the services of Black’s Corners Motorsports (BCM), from Carleton Place, Ont., for post-delivery support, Bujold said. That includes support for the life of the vehicles, repairs, the warehousing of spare parts and any warranty support as needed.
The DAGOR was designed with the help of a company that builds vehicles used in NASCAR events, and is also used by U.S. and Australian special forces.
John Olson, vice president and general manager of Polaris Government and Defence, said in a statement that the firm is “pleased to have been selected to provide our DAGOR vehicles to CANSOFCOM as this major international program award builds on our strong current domestic base.”
“We are proud to partner with Canadian government and industry to deliver this ground mobility capability and the lifecycle support to smartly sustain it,” he added.
Earlier this year, the Canadian Army bought another type of ultra-light vehicle from Polaris as well as trailers. Those vehicles are to be used by three light infantry battalions.