General Dynamics success could be sign of things to come
As General Dynamics Land Systems Canada celebrated the success of its Light Armoured Vehicle contracts, the future of London’s defence sector continues to look rosy.
General Dynamics, which employs more than 2,200 people, continues to be at the centre of the local industry.
The company is upgrading the LAV III for the Canadian Army, a process that involves about 500 Canadian suppliers, about 100 of which are based in London.
Grant Corey, a senior director at General Dynamics, says “It’s a program that is probably going to run out probably through 2017, so it is good long-term employment for all that are involved in it.”
Now there is also the possibility the city could host a major manufacturing hub for military vehicles.
The Canadian Army is looking for 850 mid-sized logistics trucks to help move military equipment and goods. It’s a contract worth $1.2 billion.
That has London Machinery asking the city to extend an option to buy a 30-acre lot near the airport, just north of its existing plant, for 18 months as it prepares compete for the contract.
Peter White of the London Economic Development Corporation says “Oshkosh Defense, which owns London Machinery, they are going to be bidding on some of the other upcoming contracts.
The contract could see 45 jobs created, and countless spin off positions.
“That again would create another vehicle being manufactured here in the city and again would expand the overall supply base,” White says.
The contract is expected to be awarded in 2014.