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Discover ACSV 8x8 armored vehicle that Canada will donate to Ukraine

The Army Recognition editorial team explains what is the ACSV (Armored Combat Support Vehicle) that Canada will provide to Ukraine. Last week, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada will deliver 39 ACSV 8x8 armored vehicles to Ukraine. The first vehicles were to be delivered to the Canadian army, but those will be delivered this summer to the Ukrainian army
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Command Post variant of the ACSV Armored Combat Support Vehicle. (Picture source GDLS Canada)

On September 5, 2019, the government of Canada awarded GDLS-Canada (General Dynamics Land Systems) a $2 billion contract to provide 360 wheeled armored vehicles in eight variants including troop or cargo vehicle (TCV), ambulance, command post, engineer, electronic warfare, maintenance recovery, mobile repair team, and fitter/cargo vehicle to replace the LAV II Bison 8x8 armored vehicles and M113 tracked armored combat support capabilities.

The ACSV (Armored Combat Support Vehicle) is a new enhanced version of the LAV 6.0 developed by General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) Canada for the Canadian Army. It is a modernized version of the LAV III, also an 8x8 armored vehicle.

The ACSV is built on the same chassis as the Canadian Army’s primary fighting platform, the LAV 6.0, and will deliver a highly mobile and protected vehicle system able to provide command support, combat support and combat service support capabilities to forward elements of a brigade group formation during expeditionary and domestic operations.

Citing information from a Canadian army officer, as part of the fighting echelon, the ACSV has mobility and protection commensurate with the current combat fleet of the Leopard Main Battle Tank, the LAV 6.0, and the Tactical Armored Patrol Vehicle. The ACSV will differ significantly from the fleets the variants are replacing by providing crews and troops with enhanced power, mobility, longer operating ranges, protection, firepower, and safety features – all platforms will come with energy attenuating seats to protect from blast threats.

Building on the common chassis, the Canadian Army is also striving for a significant amount of modularity in the design of the ACSV family. The design and structure of the TCV, Ambulance and Command Post, for example, are identical and mission specialist payloads could be interchangeable if required.

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Troop carrier version of the ACSV Armored Combat Support Vehicle. (Canada MoD)

The ACSV design consists of three main parts with the driver position at the front left side of the hull with the powerpack on its right, the commander hatch is located behind the driver's position and the troop's compartment at the rear. In terms of protection, the vehicle has a double-V hull and energy attenuated seats providing a high level of protection against ballistic and mine threats. Compared to the previous LAV, the ACSV has a raised troop compartment offering more space and comfort for infantrymen.

The ACSV also features an upgraded driveline, suspension, larger tires, and a more powerful engine to deliver significantly increased payload and superior mobility performance. Advanced electronics and sight upgrades provide improved target identification and weapon accuracy, all packaged in a turret with enhanced ergonomics and safety.

The ACSV is powered by a Caterpillar C9 engine developing 450 hp (335 kW) coupled to a ZF transmission with 7 forward and 1 reverse speed. The vehicle can run at a maximum road speed of 100 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 600 km. It can cross a trench of 2 m length and negotiate vertical obstacles up to 60 cm high. It can negotiate a gradient of 60 % and side slopes of 30 %. The turning radius of the vehicle is less than 19 m.

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