FME: Leopard 2 AEV & ARV – DND/CF Backgrounder – July 2009
Force Mobility Enhancement Project – Leopard 2 AEV and ARV
This DND Backgrounder details the FME project which includes 13 AEV (Armoured Engineering Vehicle) replacements
for the Badgers , two ARVs (Armoured Recovery
Vehicles) to replace the Leopard 1-based Taurus, plus 29 sets of dozer blades, mine ploughs, and mine rollers for the Leopard 2s. FME options would include:
another 5 AEVs, 2 ARVs, and 30 more sets for tanks.
[ Update July 2011: An ACAN is expected for Leopard 2 Tactical
Mobility Implements including 18 dozer blade sets, mine-ploughes, and mine-rollers valued at about $50M.]
The CF already has two Leopard 2-based 'ARV 3s' in use in Afghanistan. These are called a Büffel in Germany resulting in yet
another CF vehicle being referred to as a Buffalo.  The FME mentions that ARVs were "options from
the Tank Replacement Project" which asked for up to 8
Leopard 2A4 tanks to be converted to ARV config- uration. Similar conversions
are available from tank to AEV 3 Kodiak configuration.
[ Update: in Oct 2010, DND published an NPP for 13 Leopard 2A4 AEV conversions.]
The third element of the FME project should take pressure off of the aging CF Leopard C2 fleet. These older tanks have carried the
'dozer blades and mine 'rakes' (right) in Afghanistan. The lower glacis armour of the Leopard 2A6M means
that existing ploughs cannot be readily mounted on the newer tanks. This problem will be rectified with new mounting
brackets on the new Leopard 2 "tactical mobility implements".
 For years, the recovery variant of the wheeled Bison has been unofficially referred to as a
'Buffalo'. More recently, the Buffalo EROC
mine-clearing vehicles were bought.
DND/Canadian Forces News Release
Force Mobility Enhancement [ Leopard AEV and ARV Replacement Project ]
BG - 09.018 - July 8, 2009
The Force Mobility Enhancement (FME) project includes the acquisition of a fleet of Armoured Engineer Vehicles
(AEV) that will provide crucial support to the Leopard 2 tanks, LAV III, and future fleets, such as the
Close Combat Vehicle [CCV Project] and the Tactical Armoured Patrol Vehicle [TAPV Project]. The FME project
will also install tactical mobility implements on the fleet of Leopard 2 main battle tanks.
The first phase of this project is to acquire Armoured Engineer Vehicles (AEV). The ability of these vehicles to
operate under heavy fire will further enhance the Canadian Forces' mobility and deployability in a wide range of
missions. This phase will also acquire Armoured Recovery Vehicles (ARV) in support of the AEV.
The AEV ensures troops have a clear, safe path to navigate by clearing mines, debris and other obstacles, filling
in craters and providing limited road maintenance and construction. As the new fleet of AEV will use a
Leopard 2 tank chassis, they will have a high degree of crew protection and will continue to be an
integral part of any armour deployment.
The AEV will replace the Canadian Forces' aging fleet of Leopard 1-based ... Badger fleet. The new
fleet of AEV will be capable of supporting the Leopard 2 ... tank fleet until 2035.
FME will procure 13 AEVs, with options for an additional five vehicles.
The second vehicle, the ARV, is like a tow-truck for ... large, armoured vehicle[s]. The ARV is able to recover
vehicles from the battlefield while under fire, thanks to its high degree of crew protection. [The ARV] vehicle
will also use a Leopard 2 tank chassis as a basis and will be acquired by exercising contract options from
the Tank Replacement Project. FME will procure two ARVs, with an option of an additional two.
The second phase of the project will be to procure tactical mobility implements for the Leopard 2 tank fleet,
including dozer blades, mine ploughs and mine rollers. FME will procure 29 sets of implements, with an option
of an additional 30 [sets of implements].
Both vehicles and the implements procured under FME are expected to reach Initial Operational Capability by 2011,
with Full Operational Capability expected by 2015.
The procurement process will be a competitive military off-the-shelf acquisition. [LOI] letter of interest
may be issued within the month to identify potential bidders. The definition phase of the project will include a
solicitation of interest and qualifica- tion (SOIQ) or a request for proposals (RFP). Contract award is expected by
The Government of Canada's Industrial and Regional Benefits [IRB] policy is applied to this procurement, which means
the winning company [or perhaps companies] must generate economic activity in Canada, dollar for dollar equal to the contract value.