Defence Industry – Industry Press Release – November 2010
KMW Announces their first improved Leopard 2A4M CAN tank – a Hybrid of Leopard 2A4 and
2A6M is Heading for Afghanistan
Update: Those first five upgraded Leopard 2A4M tanks were flown
from Germany to Kandahar between Dec 2010 and mid-Jan 2011 to support the final CF combat
Leopard 2 tank maker, Krauss Maffei Wegmann, has issued a press release to announce the acceptance
of the Canadian Forces' first Leopard 2A4M CAN tank. KMW provides little new information
about the state of DND's Tank Replacement Project
but the press release does confirm that the first ex-Netherlands Leopard 2A4 tanks to be 'Canadianized' will
deploy to Afghanistan.
The rumour mill has been grinding on the question of an Afghan deployment for 'new' Leopard 2A4M CANs.
The biggest puzzle has been why. Other sources now provide the answer. The in-country Leopard 2A6M CANs
are not to be replaced before the CF combat deployment winds down. Instead, five 2A4M CANs will go to Kandahar where
they will augment the 15 surviving Leo 2A6Ms on loan from the German government.
The photographs accompanying KMW's press release reveal more details of the Leopard 2A4M CAN's
development. One vehicle on a test track shows Leopard 2A6M CAN-style hull armour (belly plate,
more extensive track armour, etc.) but with a standard Leo 2A4 turret and 'short' L/44 main gun. Originally,
it was claimed that CF Leopard 2s would be upgraded to 2A6- type L/55 main guns. But it has been known for
some time that L/44 guns would be retained for most (if not all ) TRP vehicles.
Other photos show CF tankers putting more extensively-modified Leo 2A4s through their paces.
Some features of these tanks may be obscured by Barracuda thermal mat coverings. What is plainly obvious is
add-on mantel armour of an entirely new design. Similar to Leo 2A5/'A6 turret add-on armour, these new panels
allow the Leopard 2A4 magnifying daylight/thermal EMES-15 sight to remain in its original, lower
The result of KMW's moderni- zation is a hybrid based on CF combat experience. Slat armour has been reduced compared
to 2A6Ms, while composite hull armour is retained.  The 2A4 turret protection is
improved but the original gun is retained. That may be no bad thing. CF Leopard 2s are operating as
direct-fire support vehicles. That unwieldy L/55 gun was designed for Cold War tank battles that never happened.
 In the Leopard 2A4, the EMES-15 sight sits in a notch in the mantle armour. For the Leopard
2A5/2A6, the EMES-15 was raised and armour-protected. Another difference was the relocating of the PERI-17
commander's sight to behind the turret hatch. On the Leopard 2A4M CAN, this sight remains situtated to
the front-right of the commander.
 The reduction of slat (or bar) armour reflects experience in the field. The Leo 2A6M tended to lose its
slats to the terrain quite quickly but the Taliban RPG threat was low. Hull armour is designed to counter IED
blast. That, in turn, may explain the new turret armour. Leo 2A4/2A6 turret armour was to improve protection
against tank shells, Leo 2A4M CAN add-ons are most likely IBD AMAP composite panels as used on the hull.
An edited version of Krauss-Maffei Wegmann GmbH & Co KG's press release follows
Krauss-Maffei Wegmann Press Release
Munich/Bergen, 8th October 2010
Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) handed over the first of 20 LEOPARD 2 A4M CAN modernised battle tanks to the
Canadian armed forces yesterday, October 7th 2010.
The roll-out took place in the presence of the Canadian military
representative, VAdm Denis Rouleau, and the General der Panzertruppen, Brigadegeneral Klaus Feldmann,
and numerous other representatives of the Canadian and German army on the training area at Bergen near Hannover
[ie: Bergen-Hohne Training Area]. The next deployment location for the Canadian LEOPARDS [ Leopard 2A4M
CANs ] will be Afghanistan.
On the occasion of the [Leopard 2A4M CAN] roll-out, Brigadier-General Steve Bowes, Commander of the
Canadian Land Force Atlantic Area said: "The complexity of the contemporary operational environment
has done nothing to dimish the importance of armour supporting the combined arms team. Canadians are proud to
serve our nation and support our allies abroad with the best main battle tank [ , the ] Leopard 2 [ , ]
for today's complex operational environment."