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Canada to upgrade armoured fleet

40 tracked vehicles being shipped to Afghanistan

David Pugliese, Calgary Herald, 25 Nov 06

Article Link


The Canadian Forces will ship more armoured vehicles to

Afghanistan to help ease the wear and tear on the military's combat

fleet in Kandahar.


About 40 tracked M113 armoured personnel carriers will be shipped

early in the New Year, a move that will give commanders another type

of vehicle to use when the wheeled LAV-3, as well as Bison armoured

carriers, are undergoing maintenance, said army spokesman Capt.

Sylvain Chalifour.


In addition, some of the Bisons now in Afghanistan will have to be

returned to Canada for refit work, so the M113s will make up for

that shortfall, he said.


There are already several M113s in Kandahar, Chalifour added.


Afghanistan's terrain is exceptionally hard on vehicles and

equipment of all types, according to military officials.


Army officers privately say the M113s are also needed to roll over

some of the obstacles that have stopped or slowed down the wheeled

LAV-3s. While the LAV-3 is well regarded by the troops, it has had

difficulty driving over some irrigation ditches during fighting in

the Afghan countryside.


Tracked vehicles, such as the M113, will be able to negotiate such

obstacles better. Officers also say the M113 can keep up to the

Leopard tank already in Kandahar.


In September, the military announced it was sending Leopards to

Afghanistan in a bid to boost firepower and protection for its



Earlier this week, one of the Leopards hit a mine during a training

exercise outside Kandahar.


The explosion blew off one of the tank's tracks, but it was

repaired later that day.


No soldiers were injured in the incident.