The Canadian AVGP Family Background
Most major AFV manufacturers have facilities in a number of countries. General Dynamics Land Systems is no exception and has a large facility in Canada known as GDLS-Canada (which was previously GM Defense and was purchased by GDLS), which focuses on the production & development of Wheeled Vehicles for the international market.
The Swiss firm MOWAG developed a series of 4×4, 6×6 and 8×8 wheeled troop carriers for the Swiss Army commonly known as the Piranha during the 1970’s. Their order books have expanded to include international purchases from many other nations Armies.
This includes the licensed production during the 1970’s of their 6×6 vehicle by GDLS-Canada for the Canadian Army, who designated it the Armoured Vehicle General Purpose AKA “AVGP”.
There were three variants of The Canadian AVGP Family built:
The Grizzly – infantry carrier
Cadillac-Gage 1 metre turret, armed with a .50 BMG and a 7.62 mm MG. x3 crew and rear troop section accommodates x6 troops who exit through doors in the rear. 269 were built.
The Cougar – Fire Support
British Scorpion tank turret equipped with a 76mm main gun (fires HESH, Smoke and Canister rounds) and coaxial 7.62mm MG. 195 were built.
The Husky – recovery vehicle
Roof mounted hydraulic crane for lifting and swapping engines on the rest of the family. Vehicle has a crew of 3 engineers. 27 were built.
The Canadian AVGP Family operation and service
The Grizzly is no longer in front line service with Canada, but is in Reserve armoured units as well as being converted to support vehicle variants.
These variants include:
Command Post (80)
Radio Relay (10)
Unit Access Nodes (20)
Very Short Air Defence (24)
Artillery Gun Tractor (18)
Mobile Repair Team (70)
The Husky will be life-extended and will continue to be used as a maintenance and recovery vehicle.
The majority of vehicles have had their marine propulsion systems removed during upgrades, which includes the replacement of the original suspension with that used on the 8×8 Bison.
The Canadian AVGP Family Specifications
Weight: 10.7 tonne
Maximum speed: 100 km/h
Engine: 275 hp Detroit Diesel 6V53T two-cycle turbo-charged diesel
The Canadian AVGP Family Number in service as of 2009
Cougar – 100, Grizzly – 274, Husky – 27
The Canadian AVGP Family Operators and Combat History
The Canadian Forces Land Force Command aka Canadian Army have been a key player in both NATO and UN lead operations, which has seen the vehicle deployed in both Africa (Sudan) and Former Yugoslavia (Croatia and in Bosnia and Herzegovina).
AMIS mission has been leant 100 (1 lost in combat) Grizzly and 5 Husky
44 refurbished Cougars with turrets removed, 98 Grizzly and 5 Husky given directly from the AMIS/UNAMID mission in Sudan.