According to a statement published by the Canadian Government on February 24, 2023, the Canadian Prime Minister announced new measures to continue supporting the people of Ukraine. These measures include the delivery of four additional Leopard 2A4 Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) to support the Armed Forces of Ukraine in defense of their country. This new donation increases the delivery of Canadian Leopard 2A4 tanks to Ukraine to eight.
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The first Leopard 2A4 tanks donated to Ukraine by Canada were sent at the beginning of February 2023. (Picture source Canada MoD)
In 2022, Canada committed over $5 billion in direct financial, military, humanitarian, and immigration assistance to Ukraine. This includes $2.5 billion in direct economic support.
At the same time, Canada will also provide an armored recovery vehicle and over 5,000 rounds of 155 mm ammunition. The four previously announced Leopard 2 main battle tanks have been delivered to Poland and a Canadian Armed Forces team of trainers is currently training Ukrainian tank crews.
On January 26, 2023, Defence Minister Anita Anand announced that Canada will supply Ukraine with four Leopard 2A4 main battle tanks from the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) military inventory. Currently, the Canadian army is equipped with 82 operational Main Battle Tanks including 42 Leopard 2A4, 20 Leopard 2A4M upgraded version, 20 Leopard 2A6M, and 52 Leopard 1C2 in store.
Canadian Armed Forces members are supporting the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the United Kingdom and Poland under Operation UNIFIER, providing training on a range of military skills. Between 2015 and 2023, Canada trained more than 35,000 members of Ukraine’s security forces as part of Operation UNIFIER.
The Canadian Armed Forces have been assisting with the delivery of military aid for Ukraine from Canada and on behalf of our allies and partners, having transported over seven million pounds of military donations since March 2022.
Since February 2022, Canada has committed over $1 billion in military assistance to Ukraine. This includes four Leopard 2 main battle tanks, over 200 armored personnel carriers, a National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS) with associated munitions, 39 armored combat support vehicles, anti-tank weapons, small arms, M777 howitzers and associated ammunition, high-resolution drone cameras, winter clothing, and more.
The Leopard 2A4 is a main battle tank that was used by the Canadian Army from 1992 until it was retired in 2019. The Canadian Army acquired a total of 114 Leopard 2A4 tanks, which were purchased from the Dutch Army and modified to meet Canadian specifications.
The Leopard 2A4 was a significant upgrade over the Canadian Army's previous main battle tank, the Leopard 1. The Leopard 2A4 featured improved armor protection, a more powerful engine, and a more advanced fire control system. It was also capable of firing a wider range of ammunition types and had better mobility than the Leopard 1.
During its service with the Canadian Army, the Leopard 2A4 saw action in Afghanistan as part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). The tank was used primarily in a reconnaissance and fire support role, providing protection for Canadian troops and engaging enemy positions as needed.
The Canadian Army retired its last Leopard 2A4 tanks in 2019, replacing them with the newer Leopard 2A6M CAN variant. The Leopard 2A6M CAN features improved armor protection, a more powerful engine, and a number of other upgrades over the Leopard 2A4.