Touting the creation of hundreds of jobs across Canada, Jason Kenney, Minister of National Defence and Steven Blaney, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, awarded two competitive projects under the Medium Support Vehicle System (MSVS) project today.

Mack Defence of Allentown, Pennsylvania has been chosen to provide 1,500 Standard Military Pattern (SMP) trucks, 300 trailers and 150 armour protection systems for the vehicles, including an initial 5-year period of in-service support with additional option periods of up to 15 years.

“I’m pleased we’re moving forward with yet another procurement of key equipment for the brave men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces,” said Kenney. “These modern trucks do the heavy lifting for the military. They will take personnel, equipment and supplies to wherever they are needed for the Canadian Army, the Royal Canadian Navy, and the Royal Canadian Air Force.”

Although it’s not clear how the Government calculates job numbers, the deal reportedly will create 590 jobs and maintain another 110 jobs across Canada.

Procurement has been a huge bone of contention for the defence industry over the past few years, with major projects either reset, cancelled or delayed. Now it seems the government is trying to improve their reputation, and this announcement will help.

The current fleet Canadian Armed Forces SMP trucks are decades old, and many of the vehicles had been rendered unfit for service. To fill in the gaps, the Department of National Defence was resorting to rentals.

Former Defence Minister Peter MacKay with one of the old-timers in the Army's fleet of trucks.
Former Defence Minister Peter MacKay with one of the old-timers in the Army’s fleet of trucks.

SMP trucks perform a variety of roles, including the transportation of personnel and cargo, and play a vital role in military training and operations. The new fleet will support the efforts of the Army, the Royal Canadian Navy and the Royal Canadian Air Force and will be fielded across the country in virtually all regular forces and some reserve units.

The first delivery of the trucks and equipment is planned for summer 2017, and deliveries are expected to be completed by fall 2018.

The win for Mack Defence comes as a bit of a surprise to some, who considered U.S.-based Oshkosh Defense the frontrunner in the competition. Oshkosh heavily marketed their Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT) platform in Canada, a vehicle currently in use with the United States military.

One of Oshkosh Defense's HEMTT variants.
One of Oshkosh Defense’s HEMTT variants.