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Sault Ste. Marie fabrication shop lands defence industry contract

China Steel lands $1 million subcontract for next generation of Canadian Forces' armoured vehicles

Sault Ste. Marie industrial fabricator and machine shop, China Steel, has landed a sub-contract to manufacture components for a new generation of armoured vehicles to be used by the Canadian military.

Sault MP Terry Sheehan announced Aug.4 that the north end shop was awarded a contract worth more than $1 million to be involved in the production of Armoured Combat Support Vehicles (ACSV) at the General Dynamics Land Systems plant in London, Ont.

The vehicles serve as troop and cargo carriers, ambulance, command post, and mobile repair and recovery for the Canadian Armed Forces.

The ACSVs will replace the Forces' current fleet of M113 Tracked Light Armoured Vehicle (TLAV) and the LAV II Bison.

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The first ACSV rolls off the production line this December. Testing, training, and procurement of spare parts will be required before the initial vehicles are distributed to Canadian Armed Forces bases in 2022, said the release from Sheehan's office.

China Steel manager Robert Guido couldn't say much about the nature of the job except that "we produce machined and fabricated components for the vehicles produced at (General Dynamics) in London.

"This contract," he said in a release, "has kept our employees working and earning a living during this pandemic. A large thank you to the Canadian Government and General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada for their support."

Sheehan stated China Steel is part of the city's "thriving steel industry" and expressed his pride in "the innovative people at China Steel" for their involvement in the procurement project.

General Dynamics was awarded the $2-billion contract last September for 360 vehicles, the spare parts, technical manuals and training.