LONDON, ONT. -- General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada (GDLSC) held a virtual ceremony Monday afternoon to celebrate the 'roll-out' of the armoured combat support vehicle (ACSV) created for the Canadian military.

The new ACSV design was completed at the end of 2020. The program was first announced in August of 2019.

The ACVSs are designed to be more mobile, have a longer operating range and better protect soldiers during operations in high-threat environments.

In the next four years, 360 ACVSs will be created for use by the Canadian army in eight different configurations to fulfill combat support roles such as troop/cargo vehicle, ambulance, command post and mobile repair and recovery.

The second ACSV design being worked on currently will operate as an ambulance - it is said to be completed by this summer, said Jason Monohan, vice president of GDLSC.

Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan  participated in the event remotely.

“You do critical work for Canada every single day…because of your skill and dedication, Canadian Forces members will soon have combat support vehicles they can rely on,” he said.

London Mayor Ed Holder, London North Centre MP Peter Fragiskatos and London West MP Kate Young, among others, were present to celebrate the ‘roll-out.’

“‘We are so grateful for the ongoing support for advanced manufacturing in London, and for this facility in particular, the positive economic impact represented by GDLS Canada is felt not only here in London but across the province and around the country,” said Holder.

“For nearly 20-years, GDLSC has employed thousands of Londoners, all dedicated to building the equipment our military needs to conduct operations at home and abroad. GDLSC is a pillar of our local economy in London and certainly in the southwest region of Ontario as well,” Fragiskatos added.

The contract is set to help sustain over 1,700 jobs at GDLSC's London facility alongside thousands of direct and indirect jobs throughout its network of Canadian suppliers.

The subcontracts represent over $137 million in investments to more than 30 Canadian businesses from coast to coast to coast, creating and sustaining over 400 jobs across the country, the Canadian Armed Forces said in a release.

These vehicles will replace the current fleet of M113 Tracked Light Armoured Vehicle (TLAV) and the LAV II Bison.

The first vehicle rolled off the production line in December 2020 with deliveries occurring through Feb. 2025. The vehicles will support the LAV 6.0 vehicles in service with the Canadian Forces.