Second-hand word from a friend in the Forces indicates that there are rumours of new equipment coming soon to the forces.
This new equipment is in the form of 80 new Main Battle Tanks for the Canadian Armed Forces.
The only details I have is that the rumour is 60 new Leopard 2A4 and 20 2A6.
Up until late last year, the C2s were all slated to be decomissioned, but now, they are taking part in Canadas mission in Southern Afghanistan as the first CAF armour squadron to be engaged in combat since Korea.
We have 114 Leopard 1, “C2” tanks. They are nearly 30 years old.
80 Leopards, while lower in number, is a significant upgrade, with better speed, range, defensive and offensive armament… it is a true current generation Main Battle Tank.
As far as cost. No doubt if this rumour is true, it could very well be in the budget in a couple weeks.
According to ArmyGuide.com the latest contracts to Turkey and Greece priced the 2A4 at about 1.4 to 1.7 million dollars US a piece. So 60 2A4s would likely cost around $CAD120 million
The 2A6M version of the tank, of which 20 are rumoured to be headed to Canada, has an upgraded 120mm gun and is hardened against mines, and runs around $US11 million each or $CAD260 Million for the batch.
So in all.. we’re talking around $380 million to upgrade Canadas main battle tanks.
No doubt. These are tanks that will enable Canadian forces to go places they can’t go now, and do so decisively, with the utmost in confidence.
But now is the time to ask. What do we see as the role of the Canadian Armed Forces in the world? Tanks are for war fighting. Nothing else. Now is the time to ask questions.