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Leopard 2A4M CAN

Main battle tank

Leopard 2A4M tank

The upgraded Leopard 2A4M tanks have improved protection are less vulnerable to ambushes

 
 
Country of origin Canada
Entered service 2010
Crew 4 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 62.5 t
Length (gun forward) 9.61 m
Hull length 7.74 m
Width 4.05 m
Height ~ 2.5 m
Armament
Main gun 120 mm smoothbore
Machine guns 2 x 7.62 mm
Elevation range - 9 to + 20 degrees
Traverse range 360 degrees
Ammunition load
Main gun 42 rounds
Machine guns 4 750 x 7.62-mm
Mobility
Engine MTU MB-837 Ka501 diesel
Engine power 1 500 hp
Maximum road speed 72 km/h
Range 550 km
Maneuverability
Gradient 60%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step 1.15 m
Trench 3 m
Fording 1 m
Fording (with preparation) 4 m

 

   The Leopard 2A4M CAN is a Canadian upgraded version of the Leopard 2A4 tank. In the mid 2000s Canadians realized the importance of main battle tanks when their Leopard C2 tanks were rushed in to Afghanistan. Canadians needed a better protected tank, especially against land mines and improvised explosive devices than their C2. There was no point to further upgrade the C2s that are nearly 40 years old and were become increasingly harder to maintain. In an attempt to renovate their heavy armor fleet and for their immediate needs in Afghanistan in 2007 Canada acquired 80 Leopard 2A4, and 20 Leopard 2A6 tanks from Dutch surplus stocks. Another 20 Leopard 2A6 tanks were borrowed from Germany. The oldest and less capable Leopard 2A4 tanks were used by Canadian training squadrons. It is worth noting that Canada actually acquired more Leopard 2A4 and Pz.87 tanks, however these were converted to support vehicles, such as combat engineer vehicles and armored recovery vehicles. In 2009 Canada commissioned Krauss-Maffei Wegmann of Germany to refurbish and upgrade 20 ex-Dutch Leopard 2A4 tanks to the Leopard 2A4M CAN standard. All of these tanks were completed in 2010. Between 2010 and 2011 five Leopard 2A4M tanks were deployed in Afghanistan.

   Upgraded tanks have improved overall protection and are less vulnerable to ambushes. The Leopard 2A4M is fitted with add-on composite armor kit, optimized for protection against improvised explosive devices. This kit resembles that found on the Krauss-Maffei Wegmann Leopard 2A7 tank, but is different in detail. A mine protection belly plate was added. Areas at the rear of the hull and turret were fitted with cage armor. The cage armor provides protection against RPG rounds and anti-tank guided missies. Other modification include electric rather than hydraulic turret controls.

   The Leopard 2A4M tank retains a 120 mm/L44 smoothbore gun of its predecessor. Originally it was planned that these tanks will be fitted with a longer barreled 120 mm/L55 guns, as used on the Leopard 2A6M tanks. The 120 mm/L55 gun has longer range is is more accurate, as the longer barrel allows ammunition to attain higher velocities. It is optimized to engage enemy tanks. However in Afghanistan there was no need for such weapon. Therefore it was decided to retain the original 120 mm/L44 guns.

   A total of 42 rounds are carried for the main gun. 15 rounds are stored in the turret bustle and are ready to use, while remaining rounds are stored in the hull.

   Secondary armament consists of two C6 7.62 mm machine guns. One of them is mounted coaxially with the main gun. Another one is mounted on top of the roof.

   The Canadian Leopard 2A4M tanks are operated by a crew of four, including commander, gunner, loader and driver. Some upgrades were made to commander's control systems and driver's viewing aids.

   The Leopard 2A4M tank retains its MTU MB-837 Ka501 turbocharged diesel engine, developing 1 500 hp. Brakes and suspension were upgraded to coupe with increased weight. Maximum road speed is 72 km/h, while maximum off-road speed is 55 km/h. Cross-country performance is similar to that of its predecessor. These tanks can be fitted with mine plough, mine rollers, or dozer blade.

 

 
Leopard 2A4M tank

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Leopard 2A4M tank

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Leopard 2A4M tank

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Leopard 2A4M tank

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Leopard 2A4M tank

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Leopard 2A4M tank

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