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Reinforcing Allies: Arrival of Canada’s Promised Leopard 2 Tanks and Simulators in Ukraine

The full complement of eight Leopard 2 primary combat tanks promised to Ukraine by the Canadian Department of National Defence have now landed in Poland. Alongside the eight Leopard 2 tanks delivered to Poland, Canada has also dispatched three Leopard gunnery simulators from the Canadian Armed Forces’ (CAF) stockpile to assist in training Ukrainian tank personnel in the usage and strategies of these primary combat tanks. The Leopard 2 is the primary battle tank of the Canadian Armed Forces and several of its Allies and partners. The Canadian Department of National Defence’s assistance to Ukraine is extensive, and it will persist.

The Canadian Minister of National Defence, Anita Anand, further disclosed that Canada will supply ammunition, spare parts, and will send members of the Canadian Armed Forces to instruct Ukrainian soldiers on the application of these tanks in a third country. This donation answers Ukraine’s urgent plea for tanks – a request underscored by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov at the previous week’s Ukraine Defense Contact Group assembly in Germany. Canada’s donation also results from broad coordination with Allies and partners, who are likewise intending to donate Leopard 2 primary battle tanks to Ukraine, among other Western main battle tanks.

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

These heavily shielded and greatly safeguarded vehicles offer soldiers a strategic edge on the battlefield, attributed to their exceptional mobility, firepower, and survival capabilities. The Leopard 2 is a remarkable battle tank that serves the Canadian Army admirably. The donation of Canadian Army Leopard 2 tanks, along with donations from Allies and partners, will substantially support the Ukrainian Armed Forces in their valiant struggle to defend their nation’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.

Canada has already pledged over $1 billion in military aid to Ukraine, and will continue to uphold Ukraine in its conflict against Russia’s unlawful and indefensible war.

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