Part of the purchase/lease deal, Canada would upgrade 20 of the the tanks and return a number of them to Germany. These tanks were under a government-to-government use agreement and used for direct support operations while in Afghanistan.
The first upgraded tanks began to arrive in Germany in December and other are to follow very soon. The upgrades where completed by the original Leopard-2 manufacturer, Krauss-Maffei Wegmann.
Desert conditions have a way of deteriorating military equipment, and to be able to return the leased Leopard's in the same quality as they borrowed them, Canada agreed to pay for the work to convert the tanks into serviceable condition.
Some may ask why we are paying to upgrade and not just ensure they are in 100% operating condition - Germany paid to upgrade the Leopard-2 A6M tanks to the A7 variant before lending them to Canada in order to better support Canadian troops while in Afghanistan. Canada agreed to complete further upgrades once they finished using the tanks.
The upgrades Canada has paid for include:
- auxiliary power units to help cool the turret and crew and ensure operations continue with the main engine running.
- A new drivers hatch
- All-electric turret control equipment
- Modifications to fire fuse-programmable high explosives (use against Bunkers and fortifications)
Original Source: Ottawa Citizen
|A Canadian Leopard A6M tank in Panjwa'i District Afghanistan in October 2010. Photo: DND Combat Camera|