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Canada Keeps Promise: Ukraine Receives Leopard 2 Main Battle Tanks and Advanced Simulators

All eight Leopard 2 primary combat tanks pledged by the Canadian Department of National Defence for Ukraine have now reached Poland. Alongside the eight Leopard 2 primary combat tanks dispatched to Poland, Canada has also installed three Leopard gunnery simulators from the Canadian Armed Forces’ (CAF) stockpile to assist in training Ukrainian tank squads on the operation and tactics of these primary combat tanks. The Leopard 2 is the principal combat tank of the Canadian Armed Forces and several allies and partners. The Canadian Department of National Defence’s support for Ukraine is all-encompassing, and it will persist.

Canadian Minister of National Defence Anita Anand also declared that Canada will supply ammunition, spare components, and will station Canadian Armed Forces personnel to instruct Ukrainian soldiers on the utilization of these tanks in a third country. This donation addresses Ukraine’s immediate need for tanks – a plea that was reiterated by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov at the previous week’s meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group in Germany. Canada’s contribution is also the outcome of thorough coordination with allies and partners, who are also planning to donate Leopard 2 primary combat tanks to Ukraine, among other Western primary combat tanks.

The Leopard 2 is a third-generation German primary combat tank. Developed by Krauss-Maffei in the 1970s, the tank was commissioned in 1979 and replaced the earlier Leopard 1 as the primary combat tank of the West German Army. The Canadian Armed Forces procured 12 2A4s/Pz 87 primary combat tanks from Switzerland for the ‘Force Mobility Enhancement’ project which, together with the remaining unused ex-Dutch tanks, resulted in 18 being converted to Armoured Engineering Vehicles and 4 being converted to Armoured Recovery Vehicles. Canada 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 fortified and highly safeguarded vehicles offer soldiers a tactical edge on the battlefield, thanks to their superior mobility, firepower, and resilience. The Leopard 2 is an exceptional combat tank that serves the Canadian Army well. The donation of Canadian Army Leopard 2 tanks, coupled with contributions by Allies and partners, will substantially aid the Armed Forces of Ukraine as they bravely fight to protect their nation’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.

Canada has already pledged well over $1 billion in military assistance to Ukraine, and Canada will continue to stand alongside Ukraine as it confronts Russia’s illicit and unjustifiable wɑr.

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