This is a series of articles covering western arms received by Ukraine, the places these weapons come from, as well as the thankful users in Ukraine.
Today’s story is about armored vehicles given by Canada, LAV 6 Super Bison (bigger) and Senator (smaller), that reinforced the Ukrainian defenders on the battlefield. These vehicles are part of Canada’s military aid package. Both models are made in the famous Quebec City–Windsor Corridor.
Roshel’s Senator is already helping the Chernihiv border guards to carry out combat tasks. LAV6 wheeled armored vehicles, or as they were also nicknamed Super Bison, Canada handed over to the Defense Forces of Ukraine, including the armed forces and the national guard.
The phenomenon of Ukrainian border guards
Traditionally, border guards perform border protection tasks. However, since the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the tasks of Ukrainian border guards have significantly expanded. Moreover, it is no exaggeration to say that border detachments have become full-fledged combat brigades.
The Luhansk border detachment was the first to fend off a Russian attack back on May 7, 2014. A few days later, the “Stanychno-Luhanske” department of the border guard was attacked. There were no casualties, but many soldiers were wounded. According to the recollections of eyewitnesses, the Luhansk border detachment remained the only state institution in Luhansk over which the Ukrainian flag was raised at the beginning of the summer of 2014.
The head of the Luhansk border detachment at that time was Major-General Serhii Deineko, today the Head of the State Border Service of Ukraine and a member of the Staff of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief
How does Roshel Senator help protect the border of Ukraine from new breakthroughs by Russian troops?
“Very good car, maneuverable. Even if we compare it with our domestic “Cossack” armored vehicle, I have to admit that it is a little better”, – the Ukrainian border guard shares his impressions of the Canadian armored transporter.
These vehicles are produced by the Canadian company Roshel Defense Solutions. The vehicle has a steel body and glass capable of withstanding shots from a 50-caliber gun. The Senator APC also has an explosion-proof body, so it can withstand a grenade or mine detonation.
The vehicle has eight places for the infantry. Plus the crew. The armored vehicle is powered by a 6.7-liter turbocharged diesel engine with a capacity of 330 horsepower. The interior of the car is quite spacious – there is enough space even for a soldier in full combat gear. It is also possible to quickly leave the car if necessary. It is precisely such conditions that improve the performance of tasks by border guards, who today, in addition to protecting the state border, also perform combat tasks on a par with infantry or attack aircraft. It was for this that the Ukrainian military equipped the Roshel Senator with a machine gun.
The new LAV 6 armored personnel carriers, which Canada ordered for itself, were given to Ukraine
The Canadian government announced its intention to transfer 39 modern Canadian-made armored vehicles to Ukraine at the end of June 2022. In October 2022, the first Canadian LAV ACSV Super Bisons destined for Ukraine began to arrive in Europe. The armored personnel carriers immediately drove to the training grounds where the Ukrainian military was trained in their operation.
The supply of the Super Bison Armored Combat Support Vehicle (ACSV) to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, which are intended exclusively for the transportation of troops, is accompanied by a package of technical support by the manufacturer General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada.
The armored vehicle is equipped with a new generation suspension system and an improved motor. The protective capability of the LAV ACSV Super Bison is enhanced by a double V-shaped hull bottom and special seat mounts, which together increase resistance to detonation by mines and improvised explosive devices by absorbing the energy of the explosion. The transporter is capable of moving at a speed of more than 100 km/hr. Its driving range at one gas station is 600 km.
Lav 6’s capabilities are similar to those of the US Marine LAV 25 or US Army Stryker Dragoon. A Canadian mechanized rifle company uses 3-4 LAV 6 vehicles in each of the three platoons plus Mack Defense cargo trucks, with one of them towing a water trailer, in the company HQ. These trucks are, of course, called a very intuitive acronym – MSVS, that simply means Medium Support Vehicle System. The company also has medics vehicles (top right) and mobile recovery vehicles (bottom right) staffed by a weapons technicians that have reporting dotted line to the battalion’s maintenance platoon.
Super Bison in the ranks of the Armed Forces
The first footage of Canadian LAV 6 armored personnel carriers on Ukrainian soil appeared as early as December 2022. Then Ukrainian users of social networks burst out with words of thanks to Canadian allies. After all, Super Bison became very appropriate for the conditions in which the Ukrainian military had to perform combat tasks, especially in Donetsk Region.
Canada is increasing military support for Ukraine
“Canada is determined to respond to the illegal and unjustified invasion by continuing to provide Ukraine with military aid, including an additional $500 million to support the ability to respond to Russian aggression,” the Canadian Prime Minister’s office said in a statement during Justin Trudeau’s June visit to Ukraine. It is noted that the new package of defense assistance also provides for the transfer to Ukraine of 288 AIM-7 missiles for air defense. In addition, Canada will extend the mandate of the UNIFIER military training mission until 2026, within the framework of which more than 35,000 Ukrainian soldiers have already been trained in 8 years. Ottawa will also participate in the training of Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighters and help maintain these aircraft. It is noted that within the framework of the international “tank coalition”, Canada will help organize the maintenance center for Leopard 2 tanks in Poland.
- Since the beginning of 2022, Canada has committed over $5 billion in direct financial, military, humanitarian, and other assistance to Ukraine.
- Including today’s announcement, Canada has committed more than $1 billion in military assistance to Ukraine since February 2022.
- Most recently, on January 10, 2023, the Minister of National Defence announced that Canada is purchasing a National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS) and associated munitions from the United States to donate to Ukraine. This high-priority donation, valued at approximately $406 million, is the first Canadian donation of an air defence system to Ukraine. This will assist Ukraine’s efforts to protect population centres, critical infrastructure, and military targets.
- The Senator APC and the NASAMS donation represent the full allocation of the additional $500 million in military aid for Ukraine that Prime Minister Trudeau announced in November 2022.
- Since late March 2022, the CAF has been assisting with the delivery of military aid for Ukraine within Europe from Canada and on behalf of our Allies and partners, transporting over 6 million pounds of military donations to date.
- CAF personnel are currently deployed to both the United Kingdom and Poland to assist with the training of members of the Armed Forces of Ukraine under Operation UNIFIER, Canada’s military training and capacity building mission in support of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
- Since the start of Operation UNIFIER in 2015, the CAF has trained over 35,000 members of the security forces of Ukraine in battlefield tactics and advanced military skills.