How excellent is that! Kudo‘s bro! Now that I‘ve had a better look, I don‘t feel so bad about the vehicle. It definitely has potential. I‘m sure there‘ll be Canadian mods to fit the bidding criteria (hopefully they‘ll increase the potential). Again, thanks for taking the time, great work. BTW, enjoyed your other pics also. Stay safe.
FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!!!
Nobody told me that the G-wagon has the approval of Janet Jackson, J-Lo, Eddy Murphy, and ... The Great One himself!!!
Heck - what are we waiting for????
(tee-hee ... sometimes it‘s useful to read the entire article, eh? My earlier comment about marketing a civilian variant now rings truer than ever, I suggest.)
Military eyes Mercedes-Benz
German automaker only bidder on contract to supply 802 vehicles costing $175,000 each
The Ottawa Citizen
Courtesy of Europa International / Canadian soldiers may soon be driving a military version of the Mercedes-Benz that has captured the fancy of, Janet Jackson, Wayne Gretzky, Jennifer Lopez and Eddie Murphy. The army variant, known as a Gelaendewagen, will be built in Austria.
A German company is expected to walk away with a $140-million contract to provide a new jeep-like vehicle to the Canadian army after being the only bidder for the project.
The army is likely to buy 802 Mercedes-Benz vehicles at a cost of around $175,000 each.
Mercedes-Benz came out on top after some of the world‘s largest manufacturers of military vehicles decided against bidding on the project because of Canadian rules designed to select the cheapest vehicle available that meets government specifications.
That is different from other military programs, where vehicles are given consideration for their capabilities as well as low cost. Other companies declined to bid because they did not believe it was worth their while to alter their vehicles to meet specific Canadian military requirements.
The latest turn of events is just one of the many bumps in the army‘s attempts, started in 1991, to buy new light utility vehicles.
The program was delayed in 1998 after Defence Minister Art Eggleton intervened to ensure that a vehicle built by Western Star Trucks of B.C. would be eligible for the project. But Western Star decided last year not to bid after determining there was limited military sales for its vehicle outside Canada as most countries opt for trucks built by their own manufacturers.
General Motors in London, Ont. and Land Rover of England, both of which had planned to bid on the Canadian Forces project, also decided against getting involved. The American company building the Hummer, the standard vehicle used in the U.S. military, also dropped out of the competition.
It‘s not known whether Mr. Eggleton‘s intervention to change the program‘s original rules to include Western Star was a factor in the decisions by various companies not to bid. Industry representatives are tight-lipped about their reasons.
Inside the Department of National Defence, however, there was concern about the effect of Mr. Eggleton‘s changes and the delays it caused. "Our credibility with industry has suffered," wrote one frustrated senior officer in a 1998 e-mail obtained by the Citizen.
Stanley Ing, director of industrial benefits for Mercedes Benz Canada, said there is no absolute guarantee that his firm will win the vehicle contract, since its bid still has to be reviewed by government officials. "By no means is it a shoo-in, but it does help in the sense that we are the only competitor," he said.
Mr. Ing said the Mercedes vehicle, called the Gelaendewagen, will be built in Austria and shipped to Canada. Canadian companies such as DEW Engineering, working in Atlantic Canada, would install Canadian army components such as radios and racks for weapons.
There are 80,000 Gelaendewagens in service with various militaries in Europe, Africa, South America and Asia.
While the average cost of the vehicles works out to $175,000, that price tag also includes spare parts, manuals, armoured plating, installation of army equipment and the cost of running the project office at the Defence Department.
Defence Department officials did not respond to a Citizen request for information on the project. But Lt.-Col. Tom Temple, who heads the light utility vehicle program, recently told Jane‘s Defense Weekly that regardless of how few bids are received the competition will run as planned.
"The terms of the (request for proposals) is lowest-cost-compliant, and if Mercedes is the only one that bids and they are compliant then they get the contract," he said.
Mr. Ing said the Gelaendewagens are proven vehicles with low maintenance costs. Parts would be available around the world at Mercedes dealerships. Mercedes is a division of DaimlerChrysler, the German-U.S. auto giant.
But Canadian Alliance MP Peter Goldring said the Forces should be buying a vehicle built in North America.
"We should be buying a first-class, first-rate vehicle, and I refuse to believe we do not have the expertise in this country," said Mr. Goldring, vice-chairman of the Commons Standing Committee on Defence.
The Gelaendewagens will replace the Iltis vehicle fleet, which is at the end of its mechanical life. In 1995 Canadian military officials warned that the Iltis should be replaced by 1999 as they were rusting out and by that date would be degraded so badly they would be almost useless.
"I shudder to think how much we are spending (and have spent over the years) to keep this thing on the road," then-army commander Lt.-Gen. Bill Leach wrote in 1999.
For those of you perhaps worried that the G-wagon is not good for the CF because it does not have a support weapons capability, see below. This vehicle is the "Wolf" fast attack version of the G-wagon being procured for the USMC. It is a variant of the G-wagon and would likely make a decent RECCE or fire support vehicle for the militia light infantry company weapons dets. Looks pretty good. With a Ballistics kit and C-6 or M-2, or even a MK-19 or lightweight TOW pedestal, it seems this vehicle would be as decent a choice as the Defender or the Brute.