Canadian American Strategic Review






Gov't Document
TAPV Order

Background  –  TAPV Project  –  Textron Systems  MSV Derivative

Update: 08 June 2012 – DND has announced that Textron Systems Canada has been awarded a $603M contract as TAPV contest winner.

"And, best of all, it's a Cadillac."  Well, kind of  – Textron's TAPV
Textron Systems' submission for TAPV is a variation on their MSV – Mobile Survivable Vehicle – in turn, a development of the US M1117 Guardian ASV (Armored Security Vehicle). While Textron bristles at the suggestion, MSV can also be traced to the Cadillac-Gage V-150 submitted  for the 1970s AVGP contest. [1] The layout remains but  MSV hull-form is different and  the turret  gone.

Textron MSV  TAPV Armament Options – Safe-Bets and Long-Shots
No details of  MSV TAPV armament have been released but it is safe to speculate. For arms show display,  MSV was fitted with the Kongsberg M153 RWS [2] armed with a 12.7mm machinegun. Rheinmetall art shows the M153 armed with a coaxial 7.62mm machinegun. MSV has also mounted the lightweight ATK LW25 but cannons such as this exceed the brief of TAPV. [3] For TAPV, MSV will likely be submitted with a single-gun M153 RWS but with the option to up-arm later.

As its 'Mobile Survivable Vehicle' name suggests, Textron's TAPV candidate is meant to enhance its crew protection without sacrificing the mobility of the ASVs. The secret to the latter  is the AxleTech 4500 series Independent Suspension Axle System. This ISAS, originally an  Irish Timoney design, [4] is the same suspension system used in competing TAPV designs from BAE (the South African OMC RG35 RPU and updated RG31 Mk5 ). The result is a fast and tractable vehicle for its class.

MSV crew protection has been enhanced by IBD Deisenroth composite armour  including: AMAP-B (ballistic), AMAP-M (mine), and AMAP-IED, and AMAP-T (armour glass).  Blast protection was also improved by increased ground clearance (MSV wheels are 2" bigger ). Textron claim a 20% increase in protection over the M1117 ASV. But there's the rub. Textron has increased armour, vented wheel wells, etc., but  the MSV is stuck with a legacy from its predecessor, a shallow-'V' hull. Yes, that hull will deflect blast but not like the deeper-V type pioneered by the South Africans.  The question is: Can bolt-on armour make the difference?

The higher stance of the MSV is not just a result of having larger wheels than its forebearers. The MSV upper hull is also taller and reshaped – the roofline being higher and the windows enlarged. Internal layout remains the same though – driver and crew commander sit up front (each with roof escape hatch), dismounts and  RWS operator sit in a central compartment  (with a hinged door on either side). [5]  The engine is located at the rear on the port side. The result is a sensible, ergonomic interior. If protection levels prove as practical, MSV will be a solid TAPV candidate.

  Textron Systems  MSV-Derived  TAPV Candidate  —  Specifications
 Crew:   [Recce]  4  (driver, veh commander, gunner, operator )
  [Utility] 10 (driver, veh cdr, gunner, up to 7 dismounts)
  Kongsberg M153 Protector RWS (poss. dual weapon)
  1 x 40mm AGL or 12.7mm HMG + 1 x 7.62mm C6 option
  Length  6.81 m,  width 2.69 m,  height 3.0 m (estimated
  and not counting the RWS ), gross weight: 17 tonnes
  365 hp Cummins QSL 8.9L inline 6-cylinder turbodiesel
  Allison MD3560 6-spd (+1 rev) automatic transmission
 Performance:   Max speed: 105 km/h (on road ), cruising range: 644 km

[1] Cadillac-Gage had previous submitted their V-150 as a recce vehicle. For the AVGP contest, the V-150 competed with the Engesa EE-11, Berliet VXB, Panhard M4, Saviem VAB, and  Mowag Piranha I.  The latter would enter CF service as Grizzly, Cougar, and Husky AVGPs.
[2] The M153 is also known as CROWS II (Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station) a developed version of the CF in-service M151.
[3] TAPV only requires that vehicles be equipped  for a RWS and anticipates armament of a machinegun or a automatic grenade launcher. ATK's LW25, derived from the CF's M242 Bushmaster, was demonstrated (on the MSV) to the US Army in Aug 2009 at Fort Benning, GA.
[4] That Timoney ISAS was built in the US by Meritor Rockwell Off-Highway (later Arvin Meritor) and is now manufactured by AxleTech.
[5] Earlier Cadillac-Gage variants had  horizontally-split side doors rather than hinged. There is a split door in the starboard rear hull but it can only be reached by detaching a panel to gain access to a tunnel running alongside the engine compartment and above the wheel well.