Canadian Leopard 2A6M CAN Tank

Canadian Leopard 2A6M CAN Tank arriving in Afghanistan

The Leopard 2A6M CAN Tank, is a Canadian variant of the Leopard 2A6 Tank. 20 of these tanks were loaned to the Canadian Army by the German Army for the Afghanistan War. These vehicles received the added “M” Mine Armor package and other additional modifications for Canadian Army service, hence their new designation.

The Leopard 2A6M CAN are now owned by the Canadian Army, following the Canadian Government buying 20 surplus Leopard 2A6 from the Netherlands and giving them to the Germany Army to replace the original loaned 20.

These were upgraded by KMW into the Leopard 2A7 and are currently the most modern Leopard 2 in German Army service.

Leopard 2A6M CAN Tank Development

After an initial assessment of the performance of the Leopard C2 Tank in Afghanistan, Canada decided to invest in Leopard 2 tanks. It was determined that the lack of adequate air conditioning (essential in the searing heat of Afghanistan) was degrading the tank crew’s war fighting ability.

The Army later downplayed this factor, citing increased armour protection and the main gun armament as reasons for upgrading to the Leopard 2 Tank.

Canadian Leopard 2A6M CAN Tank

Canadian Leopard 2A6M CAN Tank & Leopard C2 in Afghanistan

After some public speculation, Canadian Defence minister Hon. Gordon O’Connor clarified the situation on Thursday, April 12, 2007.

To meet immediate needs in Afghanistan, twenty of the Bundeswehr’s stock of Leopard 2A6’s were upgraded to 2A6M standard and loaned to Canada at no cost by the German government.

Two Leopard 2 Büffel Armoured Recovery Vehicles were acquired at the same time. The first tank handed over to the Canadian Military after upgrading by KMW was on August 2, 2007, and the first one arriving in Afghanistan on August 16, 2007, with the last arriving in late September 2007.

Leopard 2A6M CAN Tank Description

Significant modifications include the mine protection belly armour added thus  giving the tank the “M” designation, distinctive tan coloured boxes mounted on the rear of the turret, contains Canadian Forces designated communications and anti IED (improvised explosive device) jamming gear which includes the “T” antenna  stands, and stand-off slat armour.

The front upper hull received an armoured plate by the drivers hatch. The first tanks configured in this variant were the twenty tanks loaned from the German Bundeswehr, in an effort to increase firepower and to increase protection given to Canadian troops operating in the south of Afghanistan.

Another feature of these tanks been fitted with a cooling unit with cooling suits for the crew , and the Saab Barracuda camouflage mats which also serve to reduce solar loading by 50 percent. This system was added to the deployed Leopards in 2009. These Leopards served right up to July 2011.

Special thanks to our site Admin Canadian Army SGT (Ret’d) Anthony Sewards for the information contained on this page.

Leopard 2A6M CAN Tank Specifications

Main Gun Rheinmetall L55 – 120mm, calibre Length 55 smoothbore
Elevation -9 to +20
Secondary Weapons x1 coaxial 7.62mm MG, x1 7.62mm MG
Ammunition Storage x42 120mm, x4,750 7.62mm
Engine MTU Mb 873 ka 501, turbocharged 1500hp Diesel
Transmission RENK HSWL 354, 4 speed forward/2 reverse
Top Road Speed 68 km/h
Road Range 550km
Fuel Capacity 1160 litres
Vertical Obstacle 1.1m
Water Capability 1m (4m with Snorkel)
Trench Crossing 3m
Gradient 60%
Side Slope 30%
Length Gun Forward 9.67m
Length Hull 7.72m
3.75m (with side front hull armor/exc Cage armor)
Height 2.48m (roof top)
Ground Clearance 0.54m
Weight 62,300kg aka 62.3 tonne combat
NBC Protected Yes
Armor Type Steel/Tungsten/Modular/MEXAS/Cage
Active Protection Systems No
Commander Yes
Gunner Yes
Loader Yes
Driver Yes
Additional Crew
Troops Carried N/A

See Also:

Main Leopard 2 Tank Directory

Leopard 2A4M CAN Page

Leopard 2A6 Page


Book Tankograd In Detail: Fast Track 17 – Leopard 2A4M CAN Canadian Main Battle Tank Buy online