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.
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.
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
|Rheinmetall L55 – 120mm, calibre Length 55 smoothbore
Elevation -9 to +20
|x1 coaxial 7.62mm MG, x1 7.62mm MG
|x42 120mm, x4,750 7.62mm
|MTU Mb 873 ka 501, turbocharged 1500hp Diesel
|RENK HSWL 354, 4 speed forward/2 reverse
|Top Road Speed
|1m (4m with Snorkel)
|Length Gun Forward
|3.75m (with side front hull armor/exc Cage armor)
|2.48m (roof top)
|62,300kg aka 62.3 tonne combat
|Active Protection Systems
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