CF Armoured Vehicles – DND/CF 'Army News' – February 2011
Army Announces the Delivery of Upgraded Leopard 2 tanks to Afghanistan – Hybrid CF Leopard
2A4M CANs to fill in the gaps
Army News has confirmed rumours that Leopard 2A4M CAN tanks have been arriving in Kandahar since
December 2010. In November, tank maker Krauss Maffei
Wegmann already announced that five 2A4M CAN would go to Kandahar to augment surviving Canadian Forces
Leopards both first-generation Leopard
C2s and Leopard 2A6Ms on loan. With only
months left in the CF's combat deployment, KMW's statement met with incredulity in some quarters. But the deployed
Leopards are being ground down.
The Leopard 2A4M CANs represent a substantial improvement to the base Leo 2A4s bought from the Netherlands for the larger Tank Replacement Project (TRP). For some reason though,
Army News feels compelled to gild the lily with repeated references to "new tanks" and KMW's "production
line". These tanks are rebuilds and rather clever ones at that. If anything, the 2A4M CAN better suits CF needs than
the original plans.
Where the Leopard 2A6M's turret add-on armour was designed specifically to counter Cold War tank fire threats,
the Leopard 2A4M CAN's turret add-on armour is meant to thwart IED blasts. Hull 'add-on' composite
armour remains essentially the same as the Leopard 2A6M CAN. The obvious difference is in the reduced
amount of slat armour.
Slat armour 'cages' have proved vulnerable to road and obstacle damage and deployed Leo 2A6M CANs have been
shedding 'cage' sections over time. Obviously trade-offs have been made between the added weight and
maintenance of the slat 'cages' and the benefit of their protection against a diminishing threat from RPGs. The
Leopard 2A4M CANs retain slat armour around their engine bays and on the rear of the turret
Other differences and details will be discussed in a Leopard
2A4M CAN Background article. The important thing is that the CF now have a 'new' tank despite the travails of the TRP and the opportunity
to test these Leopard 2s under operational conditions.
The text of the 04 Februrary 2011 DND / Canadian Forces Army News article follows:
New Canadian Leopards roar into Afghanistan
Friday, February 04, 2011
Ottawa, Ontario Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan received five of twenty upgraded Leopard 2 A4M CAN
( Leopard 2 ) tanks between December 2010 and mid January 2011. The new [rebuilt] tanks arrived freshly
off the production line of Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) as part of the tank replacement project by the Director
General Land Equipment Program Management to replace some of the Leopard 2 A6M CAN tanks that have been deployed in
theatre since 2007.
The deployment of the upgraded tanks will ensure Canadian soldiers continue to sus- tain ongoing combat operations
and fulfill Canada's commitment to its coalition part- ners until the end of the mission in Afghanistan.
Key upgrades on the Leopard 2A4M CAN include a general overhaul of the complete vehicle and 360 degrees of
protection afforded by add-on armour. Other modifications include an all-electric digital turret, a digital
central logic/main distribution system, a new commander system control unit, enhanced brakes, an
upgraded suspension and driver viewing aids. Environmental enhancements include chilled cooling vests for the
crew and new camouflage nets.
The new tanks undergo a commissioning process when they arrive in Kandahar before they are loaded for battle.
Some of them have already been pushed forward in support of combat operations.