Cover: TAPV Prototype
© 2011 FrontLine Defence (Vol 8, No 3)

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The TAPV prototype from Oshkosh Defense and General Dynamics Land Systems – Canada is customized to Canadian specifications and carries global credibility. The TAPV prototype, and other best-in-class ­military vehicles and technologies, will be on display at CANSEC in Lansdowne Park, Ottawa, June 1-2.
The Tactical Armoured Patrol Vehicle (TAPV) programme aims to replace two vehicle families in the Canadian Forces’ Land Force Command (LFC) fleet. This new solution must bridge the gap between tactical and combat vehicles while providing the higher levels of performance and protection needed. To ensure the soldiers get a vehicle proven to get the job done, the Department of National Defence (DND) has required all competitors in the programme to submit established, proven solutions. When it comes to mission-tested designs, the competition will be hard-pressed to outdo the TAPV base-vehicle from the team led by Oshkosh Defense.

The Oshkosh TAPV design is rooted in two tried and true vehicles from highly relevant U.S. Military programmes – the MRAP-All Terrain Vehicle (M-ATV) and Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTVR). Leveraging the same chassis deployed on more than 10,000 MTVRs currently in service, it has already demonstrated its cross-country mobility in Afghanistan – with several MTVRs exceeding 70,000 operational miles and readiness rates of greater than 90 percent.

Using the patented Oshkosh TAK-4 independent suspension system, the Oshkosh TAPV has extensive off-road capabilities and a 70 percent off-road profile. This is the same system used on the MTVR, more than 8,000 M-ATVs, and more than 2,000 MRAPs designed and built by other vehicle manufacturers. The TAK-4 system delivers significant levels of wheel travel to overcome obstacles and rough terrain. It also allows for scalability and integration of future armour kits and weapons platforms while maintaining TAPV mission profiles, like escorting convoys, transporting troops, reconnaissance operations and patrols in urban or off-road terrains.

Oshkosh Defense has produced more than 85,000 military-class vehicles and trailers for militaries around the world. Experience of such depth and breadth has allowed the team to produce a TAPV vehicle built around key systems and components that have not only been specifically selected and designed for their ability to meet DND needs, but have proven performance capabilities in extreme and off-road environments, including Afghanistan

The communications systems, armour system, and the dual remote weapons systems (RWS) and integration were designed to DND requirements. Specifically, the Oshkosh armour system is designed to increase the protection of occupants from prevalent battlefield threats, including a V-shaped hull to deflect underbody blasts outward. Modular armour design means the vehicle can accommodate changes in technology or additional armour packages. General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada is leading integration efforts within the Oshkosh team. With experience integrating a wide range of weapon systems, from anti-tank guided missiles and air defence to other RWS, the team has selected and integrated an innovative dual RWS (DRWS) for the Oshkosh TAPV based on a battle-tested system used by thousands of units deployed world-wide.

Proven solutions don’t stop with vehicle delivery. The TAPV programme calls for 25 years of service and support to be included in the TAPV vehicle contract, and both Oshkosh and General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada have reputations for reliable and timely life-cycle support of the products they deliver. Oshkosh has been executing a very similar and successful service plan built into the Wheeled Tanker programme for the British Armed Forces since 2003, and will continue to do so for at least ten more years. General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada is providing 26 years of life-cycle support for the Canadian Army’s fleet of wheeled armoured vehicles under an Optimized Weapon Systems Support (OWSS) contract. With a strong a presence in Canada from production through support, the Oshkosh team has been structured not only meet the industrial regional benefits requirements for the TAPV program, but to be available to the DND throughout the life of the program.

The TAPV programme has secured interest from the world’s leading military vehicle producers and the Government of Canada should expect a number of high-caliber submissions. However, not all competitors will be able to provide the necessary mobility and protection, and still fewer will do so at the right price with the capability to sustain the vehicle for two-decades. The Oshkosh TAPV offering does all that and can prove it.
© FrontLine Defence 2011