TOW missile being fired by the Armoured Defence Platoon of the 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry at CFB Shilo. Photo by Mr. Doug Devin. From the back cover of the Canadian Armed Forces Sentinel magazine 1977, Vol. 13, Number 2.
Canada buys anti-tank missile
$30 million cost
A TOW missile crew in action during Exercise CARBON EDGE in Germany in September . (ILC 77-934) Canadian Armed Forces Sentinel magazine 1977, Vol. 13, Number 2.
By the Canadian Press
Ottawa Citizen, 11 January 1974
The armed forces will spend about $30 million on a new anti-tank weapon comparable to anything that was used by either side in the recent Middle east hostilities.
The forces have announced they are acquiring TOW—tube-launched, optically-tracked, wire-guided—an American missile being used by several countries, including Israel.
TOW is a highly accurate, semi-automatic missile system capable of destroying a tank at ranges from 70 yards to about two miles.
Col. Philip Neatby of Regina and Ottawa, director of land plans and of armor in the armed forces, said in an interview Friday that the highly-sophisticated weapon involved a computer attached to a missile by wires.
The forces will start taking delivery in 1975 of 150 of the anti-tank units, which weigh 200 pounds and can be mounted on vehicles, helicopters and on the ground. It will be used by Canadian NATO. forces in Europe as well as infantry and reconnaissance units in Canada.
Announcement of acquisition of the new weapon comes only a short time after the Middle East war focused attention on the tank and anti-tank weapons. Both sides had big losses and there was some talk that the role of the tank was on the way out.
But Col. Neatby said the tank will be very much a part of land forces at least until almost the end of this century.
It would not be until the summer of 1976 that the first TOW missiles would be fired in a demonstration at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown. By 1977 the weapon system would be deployed with Canadian army units in Canada and Europe.
Members of 2 PPCLI's Armoured Defence Platoon prepare to fire the TOW missile at CFB Shilo. (IW 77-341) Canadian Armed Forces Sentinel magazine 1977, Vol. 13, Number 2.
Sgts George Genge, Marc Bouchard and Peter Anderson compare mock-ups of the TWO missile (background) and the SS-11, which TOW replaces. (GN 76-4807) Canadian Armed Forces Sentinel magazine 1977, Vol. 13, Number 2.