Trust me. If Canada could've cheaped out on the cracked hulls by refurbing them, they would have. You just can't weld up a stress fracture and forget about it. The weld becomes the strongest part but the stress just moves to a weaker portion outside that weld. And continues to crack. Once the metal becomes fatigued, it becomes fatigued throughout the module, not just where it cracked first. It behooves the military to provide the newest and best equipment for the operators. Sending out crews in inferior equipment that is constantly being jury-rigged and repaired, where the reason is expediency and saving money, doesn't work. If the crews aren't confident in their equipment, they won't exploit it to it's full potential, for fear of putting themselves in jeopardy with equipment that no longer meets it's designed capability.
I had a discussion with a couple of my NDT/ Welding friends about fixing armored vehicles with different composites and their take on fixing cracked, stress cracked, corrosion cracked, other types of stresses along with battle damage and worn plates is more then feasible by local shops in Alberta and even across the country. Their take and experience is simple, yes they can fix cracks in welds. they can fix double hulled vehicles, they can inspect, replace, repair pretty much anything out there.
They use all forms of heat treating, stress relieving (not the massage parlor off base) techniques to fix welds, replace plates etc to repair fix and replace components.
It is funny when the Canadian Forces needed to fix tanks to go to Afghanistan they went into a rush to fix, repair and get serviceable a fleet with tanks that had been worn out, not properly maintained and severely neglected. They expected things to happen over night to fill its operational gap to get things going.
I would suggest if our tanks cant be overhauled at the Rheinmetall plant in Canada then we look at other industry who perform massive welding and fabricating projects on a daily basis in local areas for example Edmonton.
One thing I have noticed is many in the Military circle are in a revolving door of if we don't do it, it cant be done.
Hopefully we buy some new equipment and set up local shops who have the specs and equipment and parts required to perform the work.