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Ukraine Strengthens Defence with Canada’s Promised Leopard 2 Tanks and Simulators

All eight Leopard 2 primary battle tanks pledged by the Canadian Department of National Defence for Ukraine have now reached Poland. In addition to the eight Leopard 2 primary battle tanks delivered to Poland, Canada has also deployed three Leopard gunnery simulators from the Canadian Armed Forces’ (CAF) inventory to assist in training Ukrainian tank crews on the operation and tactics of these primary battle tanks. The Leopard 2 serves as the primary battle tank for the Canadian Armed Forces as well as several Allies and partners. The Canadian Department of National Defence’s support for Ukraine is extensive and will persist.

Canadian Minister of National Defence Anita Anand also declared that Canada will supply ammunition, spare components, and will dispatch Canadian Armed Forces personnel to instruct Ukrainian soldiers on the utilization of these tanks in a third country. This contribution responds to Ukraine’s pressing request for tanks – an appeal that was emphasized by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov at last week’s Ukraine Defense Contact Group gathering in Germany. Canada’s donation is also the consequence of thorough coordination with Allies and partners, who are also preparing to donate Leopard 2 primary battle tanks to Ukraine, among other Western primary battle tanks.

The Leopard 2 is a third-generation German primary battle tank. Developed by Krauss-Maffei in the 1970s, the tank commenced service in 1979 and supplanted the earlier Leopard 1 as the primary battle tank of the West German Army. The Canadian Armed Forces procured 12 2A4s/Pz 87 primary battle tanks from Switzerland for the ‘Force Mobility Enhancement’ project which, along with the remaining unused ex-Dutch tanks, led to 18 being converted into Armoured Engineering Vehicles and 4 being transformed into Armoured Recovery Vehicles. Canada has also acquired 15 2A4s from Germany as Logistic Stock Vehicles. Canada purchased 20 Leopard 2A6s from the Netherlands. These were delivered in 2007.

These heavily armored and well-protected vehicles grant soldiers a tactical edge on the battlefield, owing to their exceptional mobility, firepower, and resilience. The Leopard 2 is a remarkable battle tank that serves the Canadian Army effectively. The donation of Canadian Army Leopard 2 tanks, together with contributions by Allies and partners, will significantly aid the Armed Forces of Ukraine as they valiantly strive to defend their nation’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.

Canada has already dedicated over $1 billion in military assistance to Ukraine, and Canada will persist in standing with Ukraine as it combats Russia’s unlawful and indefensible war.

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