Author Topic: Saudis sending Canadian-made LAVs to combat Yemeni Rebels  (Read 9185 times)

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Offline George Wallace

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Saudis sending Canadian-made LAVs to combat Yemeni Rebels
« on: February 23, 2016, 19:19:20 »
(The title of this piece of reporting really reflects poorly on the EDITOR of the Globe and Mail.)


Reproduced under the Fair Dealings provisions of the Copyright Act.

Quote
Saudis appear to be using Canadian-made combat vehicles against Yemeni rebels
STEVEN CHASE AND ROBERT FIFE
OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Feb. 22, 2016 10:51PM EST
Last updated Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016 11:22AM EST

Canadian-made armoured vehicles appear to be embroiled in Saudi Arabia’s war against Yemeni-based Houthi rebels – caught up in cross-border hostilities that critics say should force Ottawa to reconsider a $15-billion deal to sell Riyadh more of these weapons.

The Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthis – who are aligned with Iran – has already been accused by a United Nations panel of major human-rights violations for what its report called “widespread and systematic” air-strike attacks on civilian targets. Along the Saudi-Yemen border, constant skirmishes pit Houthi fighters against Saudi ground forces such as the Saudi Arabian National Guard.

The Saudi Arabian National Guard, a buyer of many Canadian-made light armoured vehicles (LAVs) in the past decade, has published photos on its official Twitter account showing how in late 2015 it moved columns of combat vehicles to Najran, a southwestern Saudi town near the border with Yemen that is in the thick of the conflict.

A significant number of vehicles in the photos have the triangular front corners, the eight wheels and the headlamps fixed above these triangles that are familiar features in earlier LAV models made in Canada.

Neither the Liberal government nor LAV-maker General Dynamics Land Systems in London, Ont., would confirm these are Canadian machines.

But a retired Canadian general consulted by The Globe and Mail, who spoke on condition of anonymity, identified the LAVs being transported to Najran as fighting vehicles made by General Dynamics Land Systems. Stephen Priestley, a researcher with the Canadian American Strategic Review, a think tank that tracks defence spending, also identified the LAVs as Canadian-made.

Critics say having Canadian-made arms enmeshed in a conflict that has claimed more than 2,800 civilian lives should prompt Ottawa to rethink the recent $15-billion deal to sell hundreds or thousands more to the Saudis.

Canada’s export control rules for weapons shipments are supposed to require Ottawa to restrict arms exports to countries such as Saudi Arabia, that have “poor human-rights records.” Saudi Arabia, regularly ranked among the “worst of the worst” on human rights by Freedom House, qualifies for special scrutiny.

The same federal weapons export controls also say Canada should “closely control,” or be very discriminating, about shipments to countries “that are involved in or under imminent threat of hostilities.”

Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion’s department refused comment Monday when pressed on whether it is concerned about the armoured vehicle shipments, saying it’s bound to secrecy on anything to do with arms sales to the Saudis.

“In regards to your request, please see our response: For reasons of commercial confidentiality, specific contractual details cannot be shared,” Tania Assaly, a spokeswoman for Global Affairs said in a prepared statement.

The Trudeau Liberals keep trying to dissociate themselves from the increasingly controversial deal. Last week, Mr. Dion argued his government merely inherited the contract and that cancelling it would cost taxpayers huge penalties. Pressed on this, Mr. Dion’s department refused to provide details to back up the Foreign Minister’s assertion, citing the need to keep the commercial pact with Riyadh secret.

General Dynamics Land Systems Canada of London, Ont., which employs about 2,100 people, did not respond to a request for comment about whether it is concerned about the LAVs caught up in the Saudi-Yemen conflict.

Ken Epps with the anti-war group Project Ploughshares, which tracks arms sales, said the Liberal government should rethink the latest $15-billion contract with Saudi Arabia. Ottawa, not General Dynamics Land Systems, is the prime contractor in this deal, which was also brokered by the federal government.

The Trudeau government still has power over the deal. It can suspend exports of these combat vehicles.

“Given a UN report accused the Saudis of war crimes because of their bombing of civilians, then clearly our concern must be that since they are involved in war crimes there, it should give the Canadian government additional pause in shipping these kind of weapons to them,” Mr. Epps said.

The $15-billion Saudi LAV deal will provide Riyadh with weaponized armoured vehicles in what is the largest manufacturing export contract in Canadian history – but one that doesn’t garner significant public support. A recent Nanos Research poll found nearly six out of 10 Canadians surveyed feel it is more important to ensure arms exports go only to countries “that respect human rights” than it is to sustain some 3,000 jobs by selling combat vehicles to Saudi Arabia.

A new report says Saudi Arabia was the second-largest arms importer in the world between 2011 and 2015 after India as Mideast countries upped weapons purchases significantly. Shipments to Saudi Arabia rose 275 per cent in those years, by value, compared with the earlier 2006-10 period, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said.

At least one wartime footage video posted on YouTube on the Houthi-Saudi conflict also shows what appears to be a disabled Canadian-made LAV, presumably abandoned by Saudi troops as their enemies approached.

Mr. Priestley said this December, 2015, video, purported to be shot near the southern Saudi town of Al Raboah, shows a National Guard LAV-AG model, made in London, Ont., being looted by combatants.

More on LINK.

Dear Editor

There is no ambiguity in the article about the origins of the armoured vehicles.  What "appear to be using Canadian-made combat vehicles" are indeed Canadian-made. 
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Offline PuckChaser

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Re: Saudis sending Canadian-made LAVs to combat Yemeni Rebels
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2016, 19:37:35 »
Newsflash: Military vehicles are being used for military purposes in combat. In other news, hockey sticks used for playing hockey.

Offline RCPalmer

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Re: Saudis sending Canadian-made LAVs to combat Yemeni Rebels
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2016, 20:01:17 »
When we sell armaments to another country, we have to give some thought to how they will be used.  We have an arms export control process in place, but it is unfortunately very politicized., as we have seen in this case.  This story simply provides further confirmation of the reality on the ground. The question is "does this sale reflect Canadian values or are we compromising our values to protect Canadian jobs"? If it is the latter, I have cause for concern.

Offline jollyjacktar

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Re: Saudis sending Canadian-made LAVs to combat Yemeni Rebels
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2016, 20:10:48 »
Oh well, they'll no doubt get these taken away and used against them by the rebels, just like the sniper rifles... (yawn)
I'm just like the CAF, I seem to have retention issues.

Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: Saudis sending Canadian-made LAVs to combat Yemeni Rebels
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2016, 21:17:04 »
"We" compromise values whenever it is politically convenient.  Sell the LAVs, and sell some more.
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Offline RCPalmer

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Re: Saudis sending Canadian-made LAVs to combat Yemeni Rebels
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2016, 22:58:33 »
So, we should sell to anyone willing to buy?  In a similar example, I think the French showed some moral courage in turning off the Mistral deal with the Russians.  While they ultimately found another buyer, I'm sure they still took a bath on the deal in terms of penalties.  I realize that our relationship with the Saudis is somewhat different, but ultimately the are engaged in a conflict where human right abuses are rampant.  Further, the long term Canadian strategic interests in the region should be considered when making such a deal.  Is this sale in the national interest?

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Re: Saudis sending Canadian-made LAVs to combat Yemeni Rebels
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2016, 23:32:42 »
It is because we need Saudi oil to run the East coast, as the Federal government and Quebec/Ontario block domestic oil in pipelines to curb offshore demand.

Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: Saudis sending Canadian-made LAVs to combat Yemeni Rebels
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2016, 07:52:27 »
Lets stay factual PuckChaser: the oil for Quebec and the Atlantic provinces that is not from Newfoundland is sourced, for 95% from the North Sea and Venezuela. Ontario's is Albertan/Saskatchewan.

In Canada, we are almost totally independent from any Middle East oil.

Only reason for the GoC authorizing the sale by Canadian companies of LAV's and other armoured types of vehicles to the Kingdom is the same as everybody else: We put a sh**t load of public money into building that industry for our own needs, so we want to keep them going during the down time between Canadian orders to keep them going as cheaply as possible. It's the mantra of arms salesman the world over.

Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: Saudis sending Canadian-made LAVs to combat Yemeni Rebels
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2016, 08:34:02 »
Lets stay factual PuckChaser: the oil for Quebec and the Atlantic provinces that is not from Newfoundland is sourced, for 95% from the North Sea and Venezuela. Ontario's is Albertan/Saskatchewan.

In Canada, we are almost totally independent from any Middle East oil.

Only reason for the GoC authorizing the sale by Canadian companies of LAV's and other armoured types of vehicles to the Kingdom is the same as everybody else: We put a sh**t load of public money into building that industry for our own needs, so we want to keep them going during the down time between Canadian orders to keep them going as cheaply as possible. It's the mantra of arms salesman the world over.


And it's a good, and in my opinion, wholly (and morally) acceptable mantra, too ... whether it's us or, much, Much, MUCH more likely the American, French, Russian, German, Dutch or Singaporean arms merchants saying it. Weapons systems are routinely recycled from e.g. Canada to Turkey or to the Netherlands and from there to Venezuela and to the gods alone know where else. Sometimes the weapons are recycled, as recently, by being captured and then used against the former owners ... frankly I can think of few people against whom I would rather see the weapons that we sold them, in the first place, reused than the Saudis: serves 'em right!

Weapons systems have intended purposes, no matter who uses them ... some people are uncomfortable with that fact, and I respect their delicate sensibilities, too, but as you said, there is "a crap load"of our money "invested" in the LAVn and we should all hold our noses while we try to recoup just a bit of it.
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Re: Saudis sending Canadian-made LAVs to combat Yemeni Rebels
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2016, 08:47:33 »
As of 2015 the regions we import oil from are:

#1 USA
#2 North Sea
#3 Middle East
#4 North Africa
#5 West Africa

Figures taken from neb-one.gc.ca

I am working from my cell phone or I would post the link.

From what I can find out oil from N & L is all exported.

I screwed up trying to read my link on a small screen.


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« Last Edit: February 24, 2016, 09:01:59 by Larry Strong »
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Offline Colin P

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Re: Saudis sending Canadian-made LAVs to combat Yemeni Rebels
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2016, 10:18:27 »
Shocked I tell, shocked, wait till they find out what happened to those 6x6 LAV's we sold to Africa

Offline RCPalmer

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Re: Saudis sending Canadian-made LAVs to combat Yemeni Rebels
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2016, 11:37:39 »
None of this is shocking.  It doesn't mean we should ignore it. 

At least the Grizzlies and Cougars we sold/gifted in Africa supported a policy objective at the time (supporting the AU Force), but any undesired subsequent use should serve as a cautionary example. I would be curious to know how many of them are still running.  :) 

As you say, there is lots of scope for weapons to be recycled, though I would assert that the more they are recycled, the less useful they will be (due to wear and tear and a lack of maintenance capabilities in third world forces and non state actors). 

Major arms sales however (and I'm guessing $15B buys a lot of LAVs), have the potential to intensify or prolong conflicts, and that has human security implications which are of concern for Canada. 

From a policy perspective, the government appears committed to arms control initiatives:
http://www.international.gc.ca/controls-controles/military-militaires/index.aspx?lang=eng
http://www.canadainternational.gc.ca/prmny-mponu/canada_un-canada_onu/positions-orientations/peace-paix/disarmament-desarmement.aspx?lang=eng

If we are "holding our nose" to support domestic industry, the government should just say so. 


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Re: Saudis sending Canadian-made LAVs to combat Yemeni Rebels
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2016, 12:30:52 »
If we are "holding our nose" to support domestic industry, the government should just say so.
I doubt if any government of any colour would ever say that out loud so clearly - here's the closest to such verbal wizardy I've seen:
Quote
Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion says the Liberal government does not necessarily approve of Canada’s sale of $15 billion worth of light armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia, a country with a dismal human rights record.

But Dion says the government is simply allowing a previously negotiated contract to stand.

In a rare appearance before the Senate by an elected member of the House of Commons, Dion pointed out that the current government did not approve the sale of the LAV3s, a deal that was negotiated by the Conservatives.

“The government simply refused to cancel a contract that had been given the go-ahead by the previous government; a contract between a private company and Saudi Arabia,” Dion said.

“This is an important distinction, because if we would cancel a contract that has been approved, there would probably be stiff penalties that Canadian taxpayers would have to pay.” ...
In fact, one former foreign minister loves the idea - highlights mine ...
Quote
... former foreign affairs minister John Baird said ... that the multi-billion dollar deal has merit.  Baird said while Canada and Saudi Arabia "share many different values" there are also common interests. There's an economic interest linked to the deal, he said, but also a shared interest in security as the battle against the Islamic State continues.  "I'd sign it again today," Baird said of the deal, which will support manufacturing jobs in Ontario.  He said the Liberals choosing to honour the commitment made under the last government "says all you need to say."  "It obviously isn't that bad. Obviously we have a lot of military jobs in Canada, we export to a lot of countries," he said.
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Offline gryphonv

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Re: Saudis sending Canadian-made LAVs to combat Yemeni Rebels
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2017, 18:49:07 »
Ottawa ready to review Saudi arms deals amid crackdown
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/saudi-arms-deal-canada-shia-1.4227018
Shared via the CBC News Android App

Sorry guys wrong forum.can it be moved for me .

Offline MCG

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Re: Saudis sending Canadian-made LAVs to combat Yemeni Rebels
« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2017, 20:37:40 »
This could hit the London ON plant pretty hard.  I recommend cancelation of the contract be met with immediate industrial compensation in the form of a new contract to provide the CAF with:
  • a complete LAV 6 based bison replacement
  • a LAV 6 replacement TLAV & MTVL for platforms in Arty, Engr and Svc Bn use
  • LAV 6 TOW
  • LAV 6 mortar carrier
  • LAV 6 vehicles to sp a fourth rifle coy in every mech Bn
  • a complete LAV 6 Op Stock fleet of a size suitable to support the new defence policy
  • a complete LAV 6 fleet to support BLUEFOR & REDFOR on CMTC exercises (yes, this failed the last time we tried but because it was done at the expense of the field force while the Afghan mission was simultaneously being resourced at the expense of the field force)
  • LAV 6 EOD and search vehicles (to replace the cougars)
  • a small pool of LAV 6 recce & Engr Sect Carriers to enable CFSME to train at the Tp + or Sqn - level (I understand other Gagetown schools already have resources to do this, but provide top-up as needed)
  • a fleet of observer/trainer LAV 6 for level 4/5 range safety staff and to conduct driver training at Div and branch training centres (picture the Leopard 1 driver training platform)
  • maybe something for the PRes to be held at the Div training centres and used at summer concentrations

Offline gryphonv

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Re: Saudis sending Canadian-made LAVs to combat Yemeni Rebels
« Reply #15 on: July 28, 2017, 20:47:14 »
My big gripe is the liberals were against it during the election. Ended up supporting to suck up to the Saudis, now they may try to kill it.

Sounds like playing two sides of the same coin.

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Re: Saudis sending Canadian-made LAVs to combat Yemeni Rebels
« Reply #16 on: July 28, 2017, 20:58:26 »
Sorry guys wrong forum.can it be moved for me .

No prob.

$15B CAD is a lot of LAV6s. Adding the cost of the initial LAV3 buy and the LAVUP program is around $5B, $15B triples our LAV6 fleet. We'd never be able to maintain, house and run that many vehicles. We likely could provide all those variants that you listed MCG, but it would be a fraction of the total loss and devastate GDLS-C.

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Re: Saudis sending Canadian-made LAVs to combat Yemeni Rebels
« Reply #17 on: July 28, 2017, 21:09:33 »
I guess we will also immediately stop importing Saudi oil to Eastern Canada and start using Alberta oil flowing West/East in the Trans-Canada pipeline.
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Offline George Wallace

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Re: Saudis sending Canadian-made LAVs to combat Yemeni Rebels
« Reply #18 on: July 28, 2017, 21:35:10 »
No prob.

$15B CAD is a lot of LAV6s. Adding the cost of the initial LAV3 buy and the LAVUP program is around $5B, $15B triples our LAV6 fleet. We'd never be able to maintain, house and run that many vehicles. We likely could provide all those variants that you listed MCG, but it would be a fraction of the total loss and devastate GDLS-C.

The Saudis were buying LAV 7s as well.  Much larger than the LAV 6 and definitely not compatible with the majority of our current fleets.
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Offline MCG

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Re: Saudis sending Canadian-made LAVs to combat Yemeni Rebels
« Reply #19 on: July 28, 2017, 21:41:41 »
We likely could provide all those variants that you listed MCG, but it would be a fraction of the total loss and devastate GDLS-C.
Well, if the government is going to make a decision that will require taxpayers to compensate a company, then we may as well at least start with something that provides a return for that investment (to include both military capability & preserving the Canadian jobs that were dependant on the contract that may be put to death).

The Saudis were buying LAV 7s as well.  Much larger than the LAV 6 and definitely not compatible with the majority of our current fleets.
Last time that I toured the plant, they were quite boastful of their ability to produce multiple different variants and generations of LAV without need to stop and retool, so this should not be a problem.  But, I would still be interested in a supporting reference for there being a "LAV 7"

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Re: Saudis sending Canadian-made LAVs to combat Yemeni Rebels
« Reply #20 on: July 28, 2017, 22:41:44 »
I recommend cancelation of the contract be met with immediate industrial compensation in the form of a new contract to provide the CAF with:

Let's play with the numbers here.

Quote
a complete LAV 6 based bison replacement
My (old) numbers suggest 195.

Quote
a LAV 6 replacement TLAV & MTVL for platforms in Arty, Engr and Svc Bn use
294.

Quote
LAV 6 TOW
Probably need about 60.

Quote
LAV 6 mortar carrier
Probably about 45.

Quote
LAV 6 vehicles to sp a fourth rifle coy in every mech Bn
90.

Quote
a complete LAV 6 Op Stock fleet of a size suitable to support the new defence policy
Let's say 100 for a BG+.

Quote
a complete LAV 6 fleet to support BLUEFOR & REDFOR on CMTC exercises (yes, this failed the last time we tried but because it was done at the expense of the field force while the Afghan mission was simultaneously being resourced at the expense of the field force)
Let's say 100 for a BG vs a Cbt Tm.

Quote
LAV 6 EOD and search vehicles (to replace the cougars)
30.

Quote
a small pool of LAV 6 recce & Engr Sect Carriers to enable CFSME to train at the Tp + or Sqn - level (I understand other Gagetown schools already have resources to do this, but provide top-up as needed)
Let's say 10.

Quote
a fleet of observer/trainer LAV 6 for level 4/5 range safety staff and to conduct driver training at Div and branch training centres (picture the Leopard 1 driver training platform)
Let's say 15 per TC - so 60.

Quote
maybe something for the PRes to be held at the Div training centres and used at summer concentrations
Let's say 0 for now.  The TAPV can provide this.

So, this adds up to 984 new LAVs, or roughly 1.5 x the current holdings.  That's a pretty ambitious buy.
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Offline George Wallace

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Re: Saudis sending Canadian-made LAVs to combat Yemeni Rebels
« Reply #21 on: July 29, 2017, 00:44:11 »

Last time that I toured the plant, they were quite boastful of their ability to produce multiple different variants and generations of LAV without need to stop and retool, so this should not be a problem.  But, I would still be interested in a supporting reference for there being a "LAV 7"

http://www.janes.com/article/71612/export-lav-700-enters-production
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Offline MilEME09

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Re: Saudis sending Canadian-made LAVs to combat Yemeni Rebels
« Reply #22 on: July 29, 2017, 01:16:41 »
So, this adds up to 984 new LAVs, or roughly 1.5 x the current holdings.  That's a pretty ambitious buy.

I'd say add to that about two dozen LAV 6 MMEV's for AD. As well we would need a LAV 6 recovery platform, cause right now the only thing that can recover a LAV is an ARV. so thats another maybe 4 per battalion? so 36?

We could pull off such a massive buy, and GD could probably deliver rather quickly.
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Offline MCG

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Re: Saudis sending Canadian-made LAVs to combat Yemeni Rebels
« Reply #23 on: July 29, 2017, 01:47:51 »
The Bison and MTVL families include fitters, MRTs, and recovery variants.  So some of that requirement is covered in the numbers pulled from my list already.

I don't think I would resurrect the MMEV, but maybe an air defence vehicle if the systems integration work is done.

Offline gryphonv

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Re: Saudis sending Canadian-made LAVs to combat Yemeni Rebels
« Reply #24 on: July 29, 2017, 06:05:13 »
The Bison and MTVL families include fitters, MRTs, and recovery variants.  So some of that requirement is covered in the numbers pulled from my list already.

I don't think I would resurrect the MMEV, but maybe an air defence vehicle if the systems integration work is done.

Is ADATS a good candidate for this? Or is it too short range as a reliable AS weapon?