Tanks for the Lesson: Leopards, too, for Canada

Leopard C2 and 2A6

Snow Leopards:
C2 top, 2A6 bottom

Tank upgrades to improve optics; Additional Readings sections updated, upgraded.

June 17/14: Sensors. Airbus and Carl Zeiss’ Cassidian Optronics partnership has been awarded over EUR 15 million in contracts to modernize more than 100 Leopard 2 main battle tanks in Germany, Canada and Denmark with ATTICA thermal imaging in their commander’s and gunner’s sights.

German Leopards already use Cassidian’s 3rd-generation thermal imaging device in the PERI R17 commander’s sight, and will upgrade the gunner’s sight. Canada’s Leopard 2A6CANs and Denmark’s Leopard 2A5s will install ATTICA in both commander and gunner’s sights, creating the ability to seamlessly pass views from commander to gunner with no change in quality. Sources: Airbus DS, “Cassidian Optronics delivers sighting systems for the modernisation of several NATO states’ Leopard 2 main battle tanks”.

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Leopard 2A6M CAN(click to view full) Canadian Forces took some of the lessons re-learned during Operation Medusa in Afghanistan, directly to heart. Canada’s DND: “The heavily protected direct fire capability of a main battle tank is an invaluable tool in the arsenal of any military. The intensity of recent conflicts in Central Asia and the Middle East has shown western militaries that tanks provide protection that cannot be matched by more lightly armored wheeled vehicles… [Canada’s existing Leopard C2/1A5] tanks have also provided the Canadian Forces (CF) with the capability to travel to locations that would otherwise be inaccessible to wheeled light armoured vehicles, including Taliban defensive positions.” In October 2003, Canada was set to buy the Styker/LAV-III 105mm Mobile Gun System to replace its Leopard C2 tanks. By 2007, however, the lessons of war took Canada down a very different path – one that led them to renew the very tank fleet they were once intent on scrapping, while backing away from the wheeled vehicles that were once the cornerstone of the Canadian Army’s transformation plan. This updated article includes a full chronology for Canada’s new Leopard 2 tanks, adds information concerning DND’s exact plans and breakdowns for their […]

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