On the occasion of the 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 Leopard 2 for today’s complex operational environment.”
Protecting lives “Made in Germany”
Canada commissioned KMW to upgrade 20 LEOPARD main battle tanks in July 2009 for deployment in Hindu Kush. The new version, the LEOPARD A4M CAN, is specially designed for operations in Afghanistan. Both knowledge from the previously used LEOPARD 2A6M and state-of-the-art technology that was recently qualified by KMW in collaboration with the German army and the Federal Office of Defence Technology and Procurement (BWB) flowed into the development. The development, conversion and overhaul of the first vehicles were successfully carried out in less than one year, converting them into modern operational units.
Daniel Hebert, Project Manager Tank Replacement Project, said: “The flexibility, professionalism, and teamwork exhibited by KMW over the past three years to support Canada’s Leopard 2 A6M in Afghanistan was exceptional. Now, with the Leopard 2 A4M, KMW continues to be instrumental in providing Canada with superior firepower, mobility, and the protection required to save lives.”
The main focus of the new design was consistent protection of the crews, who are subjected to enemy attacks with powerful anti-tank projectiles and are in constant danger from mines and IED’s (Improvised Explosive Devices). The starting point for the protection concept is outstanding protection from mines and good all-round protection.