Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) is modernizing the Canadian Leopard 2A4 CAN tanks previously acquired from German Army surplus. The first batch of 20 tanks was handed back to the Canadian Armed Forces yesterday (October 7, 2010) at the Bergen training ground in northern Germany. The modernized tanks are scheduled to equip the Canadian forces in Hindu-Kush in Afghanistan.
The Canadians embarked on this latest upgrade of the tank in July 2009, anticipating their next deployment in the Afghan theater. The new version is specially designed for operations in Afghanistan based on experience gained by other Leopard 2 operators, including the Denmark and Canadian forces. (operating the Leopard 2A6M)
The main focus of the A4M CAN design was consistent protection of the crews, who are subjected to enemy attacks with powerful anti-tank projectiles and are in constant danger from mines and IED’s (Improvised Explosive Devices). The starting point for the protection concept is outstanding protection from mines and good all-round protection. Furthermore, the capabilities of the new battle tank have been significantly extended by integrating a pioneer equipment interface. Mine rollers, mine ploughs and dozer blades allow the Canadian armed 3
The Leopard 2 is the heaviest, most powerful direct land combat system operated under ISAF command. Unlike many other systems, the tank can also operate and demonstrate its strengths in extremely dangerous environments and can also do this over long periods of time if necessary. Forces employing the tanks are able to carry out a wide range of tasks exposed to extremely dangerous environment, in spite of the small number of heavy vehicles. Currently the tanks are operated primarily in the northern areas; provisions have also been made for deployment in the extreme heat of southern Afghanistan.
With its armour, which goes far beyond that of any other battle vehicle, its speed, its agility and its precise and extremely effective weaponry, the tank has a tremendous amount of deterrent potential as far as the enemy is concerned, while strengthening the morale of the troops.
According to Alan Bignall, president and CEO of ReconRobotics, more than 1,200 Recon Scout Micro Robots are currently operational, and the new device will provide users unique new capabilities to gaining visual access into walled compounds, rooftops, attics, ventilation systems, tunnels and crawl spaces. And because most Recon Scout robots are equipped with infrared optical systems, this visual reconnaissance can be conducted even in complete darkness. “This ‘Know Before You Go’ capability allows tactical teams to quickly and safely clear large multi-level structures before personnel enter these environments” Said Bignall. Several branches of the U.S. military and international forces have deployed Recon Scout robots around the world, and are employed in route clearing operations, remote reconnaissance and IED inspection. Nearly 200 police and security agencies use Recon Scout robots for tactical reconnaissance, including the many police tactical teams as well as the FBI, U.S. Marshals, Border Patrol, DEA and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. When multiple robots are employed simultaneously in the same location, by different agencies, each robot operates on any of three transmitting frequencies, allowing police and military personnel to operate up to three robots in the same environment at the same time.