Time for some niche #canmiltwitter content, and because @TimDotChoi asked:

Why the TAPV is not the M117, why we ended up with the TAPV, a bit of what goes into thinking about donating defence materials, and some armoured vehicle sustainment.

A meandering Saturday night 🧵...
First off - what's up with the M117 Commando? Unlike in 🇨🇦, US Military Police perform significant security tasks like convoy protection, which demanded a niche vehicle - something to fill the gap between unarmored HMMWVs and front line APCs/IFCs like the M113 or Bradley.
The goal was to provide enough armour and firepower for rear area threats, while still remaining relatively affordable and simple to maintain & operate. Because they were still a lot more $$$ than up-armoured Humvees, the fleet remained extremely niche until the 2003 Iraq War.
Suddenly though there was great demand for a ready to produce vehicle that could protect convoys against small arms, mines, & RPGs - and not only for US forces. The M117 was simple enough to operate & maintain that it became a key vehicle for the US to provide to partner forces.
The M117 ended up being provided in decent numbers to the Iraqi Army, the Afghan National Army, Bulgaria, Colombia, Greece, and Kosovo through a combination of new builds and refurbished donations - and now an impressive number are on their way to the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Now back to Canada. As the US was embroiled in Iraq, we stepped optimistically into Kandahar and quickly began to take significant casualties from both conventional IEDs and Suicide Vehicle-borne IEDS (SVBIED). We needed to do something quickly.

So we immediately began an interim LAV 3 upgrade (LORIT) while starting the planning to replace it with the LAV 6, and began the TAPV project as a less-than APC/IFV to protect non frontline combat elements from IEDs while moving around the battlespace. But that got spendy.
The other thing to consider of course is the defence policy of the day. The 🇨🇦 First Defence Strategy of 2008 made token reference to peer adversaries, but it really doubled-down hard on counter-terrorism and Afghanistan-like missions. Look at how it described "full-spectrum:"
So when the Army realized it needed to invest in a whole new class of patrol vehicle, while replacing the LAV 3, and still had to replace the even older LAV-25 Coyote used by the Armoured Corps, it solved a budget shortfall by offering a mix of LAV 6 & TAPV to replace the Coyote.
Given that the war of the day saw the RCAC running patrols on the dusty roads of Kandahar Province and setting up in multi-week observation posts, you can see the logic when planners assumed that the future was COIN and maybe some UN peacekeeping in Africa - not peer combat.
Now onto the TAPV itself. When the project was established, the CAF was having a major problem with SVBIEDs, which wrecked havoc on vehicles like the RG-31 & LAV 3 which were designed to survive under-wheel AT mine strikes, not massive at-level explosions.
Textron ultimately won the TAPV competition by building a taller, bigger, more advanced version of the M117 that was designed to create enough standoff so the crew could survive a 155mm based SVBIED. It still markets the TAPV as the Commando Elite, but no one else has bought it.
The TAPV is not a popular vehicle in the CA, but if we had in Kandahar it would have saved lives & soldiers would have loved it. It would have been crucial if we had ended up in Africa doing PSO after all. There may not be a safer vehicle on earth to survive an IED or SVBIED.
While the classic M117 was a favorite to donate to developing nations thanks to its simple drive train and common Cummins C series engine (often used in ships & construction eqpt), the TAPV uses far more advanced components and has an advanced vehicle health monitoring network.
So the TAPV has a large number of different major parts & components than the M117, comes from an exponentially smaller global fleet & tighter supply chain, & relies on significantly more advanced specialty tooling & test equipment (STTE) than the M117 to repair/keep it running.
On the topic of how to make decisions about donating military vehicles - it's very easy to say just give them anything we have, but it's logistics that ultimately win wars not tactical engagements. A vehicle fleet that can't be repaired and sustained is a liability not a benefit.
Also - THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS NATO STANDARD VEHICLES. Short of some STANAGS on fuel compatibility there is no meaningful commonality of parts across NATO, except where countries use the same piece of equipment - and even then, national variants may induce big differences.
Any donation has to include a properly scaled package of replacement parts as well as wear & tear components to keep the fleet running, technical training, and any specialist diagnostic tools required to repair them. This can get more complicated than you'd think.
Armoured vehs are not cars. They are massive pieces of equipment that generate incredible mechanical forces. They all break down & eat parts. Once your OEM stops making those parts, you start running into problems, unless you stockpiled OR have a big enough fleet to cannibalize.
Alternatively, if your OEM can't scale the production of parts to match the size of your fleet, then it becomes the limiting factor for how many vehicles of the type that you could actually deploy at any given time, regardless of how many you actually have.
The CAF is also not a force that ever used major equipment donations as a defence diplomacy tool prior to Ukraine, and our maintenance and supply systems aren't really designed to front-load the necessary parts to support a large donation and keep it running in the field.
So far the Gov of Canada has donated two types of vehicles to Ukraine already - the Roshel Senator and the new LAV-based ACSV. The Roshel has similar small arms protection as the M117 and is built on a Ford F350 chassis so it can be repaired easily anywhere in the world.
Rather than donating from CAF stocks, the ACSV are coming directly from the manufacturer, and include the required parts & tools to maintain them. This is a convenient approach as industry can leverage CAF experience with LAV part scaling to deliver everything required.
Could we donate the TAPV? Of course, with some time to plan and procure parts.

Should we donate the TAPV? Not my lane. It would leave a hole in the CA to fill, but would also be valuable for the AFU. Risks and opportunities to consider.

But no, @TimDotChoi , it is not an M117.

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More from @MidOfficer

Jul 25
The Ram series was a 🇨🇦 war-time innovation. Desperate for APCs, Army mechanics converted surplus self-propelled artillery and tanks into well-protected troop carriers.

But this kind of innovation would never be allowed to happen today.

A 🧵on opportunity costs in the CA...
For as long as I've been in the CA, we've suffered from a centralized system where project and equipment managers at HQ dictate how eqpt is/is not to be used, and innovation is stifled to allow those same project offices to control future capabilities as decade plus projects.
Meanwhile the war in Ukraine continues to demonstrate every day that innovation & adaptation remain essential component of warfare - just like when LGen Guy Simonds ordered the first Rams to be built. Ironically, the CA has shut down most of these innovations over the years...
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Do you keep seeing the terms 'pan-domain' and 'multi-domain' thrown around in defence discussions and not have any idea at all what they mean?

Well, you certainly aren't alone. Let's see how much we can clearer, or how much more confusing, we can make them in 26 tweets. A 🧵...
First off - what is a domain? It's a specific environment in which operations can be conducted. Once upon a time things were simple. The Navy fought in the maritime domain. The Army found in the land domain. The Air Force was just people jumping off cliffs with homemade wings.
Now we recognize multiple domains, depending on your doctrine and perspective, but the big ones are:


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Mar 15
Can new technologies force a complete re-think of our doctrine and structures, or can we always accommodate incremental advances in our current way of operating & thinking?

A 🧵about the history of the TB2 and a rant about refusing to see ourselves from our enemy's perspective.
Big hand, small map: the US invented the precision-reconnaissance strike complex as a means to counter Soviet mass in the Cold War. AirLand battle was proven effective in Op Desert Storm, and the West has been all in ever since, fighting against an array of 'near-peer' enemies.
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Read 20 tweets
Mar 9
It's hard to throw money quickly at defence and expect a good outcome in the medium to long term, but then again, you never want to waste a crisis...

With the caveat that any new investment in the CAF should come with a revised defence policy, a 🧵 on some thoughts on options...
First off, I fundamentally believe that the form of a military force needs to follow its function, and that any attempt to jam in individual capabilities without proper integration of their holistic role in the force just causes a cascade of shenanigans, so be warned...
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Mar 4
A thesis:

1. The RCN/RCAF are platform dependent, and their major cbt systems have become obsolete due to our institutional, cultural, and political discomfort with large defence procurements; but,

2. The Army is not fit for purpose due to a failure of vision.

Sigh, a 🧵...
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There have been a lot of calls across the internet over the past few weeks to "call in the army" to deal with the Ottawa occupation.

I have feelings.

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The state has a monopoly on the legitimate use of violence, and it assigns the military to enact that violence externally, and the police to apply it internally. We can quibble over the use of 'violence' vs 'force' in a Western liberal democracy, but it ultimately means the same.
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