LAV III Multi-Mission Effects Vehicles (MMEV)
Thirty-six Air Defence Anti-Tank Systems (ADATS) entered service in the CF in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Since that time, the Army Strategy has refocused the Army's efforts into a transformation similar to that being undertaken in the US Army. This project aimed to provide an information age direct fire system, which possesses increased lethality, agility and survivability on the battlefield in support of multi-purpose combat forces.
The Canadian Forces proposed acquiring new, technologically advanced Multi-Mission Effects Vehicles (MMEV) that was to combine anti-tank and air-defence capabilities on one platform. Firing with its non line-of-sight weapons system, the MMEV was to be able to engage targets that are hidden behind surrounding landscape features such as hills and buildings. The MMEV is a Canadian design. The Canadian Forces worked with Defence Research & Development Canada and Canadian industry through the Technology Demonstration Program to develop the fire control systems and ergonomics that was to feed directly into the development of the MMEV.
The goal of the MMEV project is to significantly improve situational awareness by providing commanders with around-the-clock surveillance, and by sharing data and intelligence between vehicles and command posts. The MMEV was to be required to engage ground targets such as armoured vehicles and bunkers, as well as aircraft, including helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles and cruise missiles. This combination of capabilities on one platform was to provide the ground force commander with an unprecedented level of flexibility and effective battlefield situational control.
The Canadian Forces worked with Defence R&D Canada and Canadian Industry through the Technology Demonstration Program to develop world-class fire control systems and ergonomics that was to feed directly into the development of the MMEV. Oerlikon Contraves Canada was selected for the MMEV project since it owns the intellectual property rights to the Air Defence Anti-Tank System (ADATS) technology, the cornerstone of the new MMEV system. There is no other missile system integrator in Canada, or abroad, with the requisite expertise.
The design for the new MMEVs was to be developed based on ADATS technology, and integrated into a LAV III. Within the MMEV project, several varieties of command posts was to be delivered: Troop, Battery and Airspace Coordination Centre. They were to feature new battle management, command, control, communications, computers and information systems. The MMEVs were to be capable of firing the ADATS missile as well as a long-range anti-armour missile and a non line-of-sight missile.
It was planned that the MMEV would be grouped in the Army's newest tactical formation, the Direct Fire Unit, located in Edmonton, Alberta, along with the Mobile Gun System and the Tube-launched, Optically tracked, Wire-guided under armour missile system.
In September 2005, the Government announced its intent to undertake a project to design, develop and deliver MMEVs for the Canadian Forces. The full production of the MMEV fleet is expected to begin in 2010 following the completion of the design and development phase of the MMEV project. By 2005 the Government had announced its intent to undertake a project, potentially valued at up to $750 million, to design, develop, and deliver 33 MMEVs for the Army.
The $100 million first phase of the MMEV project has received Government approval, and would include a prime contract with Oerlikon. Following the successful completion of the first phase of the MMEV project -design and development- the Department of National Defence intended to proceed with subsequent development, testing and initial production phases. These follow-on phases were to provide the Army with three prototypes and an initial fleet of six vehicles, including ammunition, communications and information management systems, and interim logistics support. As of 2005 the full production of the MMEV fleet was expected to begin in 2010.
On February 6, 2006, Stephen Harper was sworn in as Canada's twenty-second Prime Minister, succeeding Liberal Party leader Paul Martin. By June 2006, no decision on the Multi-Mission Effects Vehicle project had been taken. DND was in the process of developing a document that would provide a long-term plan for Defence, including guidance on equipment priorities. The release of this plan would provide more detail on the future of the MMEV project. The idea of having multiple capabilities on one vehicle sounds exotic, but it may not be all that practical. It could be viewed as an ill-advised attempt at cost cutting at the expense of soldier safety and operational effectiveness. There may be those who think a smaller number of MMEVs could be procured in place of a larger number of single-capability anti-armour, anti-air and indirect-fire weapons. But if an MMEV is destroyed or disabled on the battlefield, the operational commander loses all three capabilities in one moment. By 2007 the Government had "not received a recommendation from the Canadian Forces on what they want to do with MMEV, if they want to proceed with it."
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