TWO Winnipeg companies will benefit from a $1-billion contract to upgrade 550 Canadian light armoured vehicles.
Local MP Steven Fletcher, minister of state for transport, made the announcement Friday along with an official with contractor General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada.
General Dynamics has awarded a $4.47-million subcontract to Enduron Custom Inc., and a $1.24-million subcontract to JRS Manufacturing Ltd.
General Dynamics, which initially designed and built the LAVs, was contracted by Ottawa in 2011 to upgrade the vehicles to improve their mobility and make them better able to withstand enemy attacks.
Enduron will be involved with turret assembly and the manufacture of metal parts and machined components for the military vehicles. JRS Manufacturing will produce brackets and machined components.
The upgrades to the LAVs, which have been described as somewhere between a jeep and a tank, are designed to extend their life until 2035. The total value of the contract between General Dynamics and Ottawa is $1.064 billion.
"We both wanted to give the soldiers a vehicle with better firepower, better mobility and better survivability, and we're now in the process of delivering on that," said Ken Hill, a General Dynamics official.
A key goal is to make them better able to withstand land mines and improvised explosive devices or IEDs.
Richard Klassen, president of Enduron, said his business has received defence-related contracts since the mid-1990s. It also participated in the initial construction of the LAVs.