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Canada to scrap C$2 billion plan to buy armored vehicles -report

Thursday, 19 Dec 2013 | 6:15 PM ET

OTTAWA, Dec 19 (Reuters) - Canada, which has a history of recent military procurement mishaps, will scrap a C$2 billion ($1.9 billion) plan to buy armored vehicles for the land forces, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp said on Thursday.

The Conservative government announced in 2009 it would buy 108 so-called close combat vehicles designed to have enough protection to fend off the blast from mines and anti-armor weapons.

At the time Canadian forces were still active in Afghanistan. They stopped combat operations in 2011.

The three companies in the running were France's Nexter, Britain's BAE Systems Plc and General Dynamics Corp's Land Systems unit.

A spokeswoman for Defence Minister Rob Nicholson declined to comment on the report, saying military officials would make an announcement about the project in the near future.

Canada's Conservatives have experienced a series of procurement problems since taking power in 2006.

Last month, an official spending watchdog said Ottawa had underestimated how much a multibillion-dollar naval shipbuilding plan will cost.

In 2010, the government said it would buy 65 advanced F-35 jets from Lockheed-Martin Corp C$9 billion, but tore up the proposed deal in 2012 after the same watchdog said officials had deliberately downplayed the costs and risks.

Other problems include a plan to buy military trucks that was scrapped in July 2012 just minutes before the final deadline for applications.