Canadian Government to Supply Ukraine with Leopard 2 Tanks

Four Leopard 2 main battle tanks will be supplied to Ukraine, announced Defence Minister Anita Anand on behalf of the government last Thursday.

Additionally, Canada will also provide ammunition and spare parts along with Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members to train Ukrainian soldiers on the tanks.

“During my visit to Ukraine last week, I told Ukraine’s Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov that Canada will continue to provide Ukraine with the military aid that it needs to fight and win. Today’s announcement is proof of our enduring commitment. In coordination with our Allies and partners, we will supply Leopard 2 tanks, sustainment, and training on their use in response to Ukraine’s urgent requests. Canada stands firmly with Ukraine in defence of freedom and democracy,” said Anand.

A Leopard 2A4 tank from Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians) travels on the Black Route of the 3rd Canadian Division Support Base Garrison Wainwright Training Centre in preparation for Exercise MAPLE RESOLVE 21, on April 30, 2021.
Photo By: Sailor First Class Camden Scott, Canadian Armed Forces photo.

“Urgent” Request For Tanks

For several weeks now, Ukraine has been urgently requesting tanks. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov repeated their request again at the Ukraine Defense Contact Group in Germany.

The U.S. and other countries have complied even though they are faced with threats from Russia. Vladimir Putin and other Russian officials have warned of dire consequences for those supplying Ukraine.

“Canada’s donation is also the result of extensive coordination with Allies and partners, who are also planning to donate Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, among other Western battle tanks. Canada will work with like-minded Allies on discussions relating to tank fleet donations and a sustainment strategy for Ukraine,” stated a press release from the Department of National Defence.

Members of 5 Combat Engineer Regiment perform manoeuvres with Leopard 2A4 tanks from the Royal Canadian Dragoons in Gagetown, New Brunswick, in the Valcartier Base training areas in Quebec City, Quebec, during Exercise LION INTRÉPIDE 2017 on November 22, 2017. Photo by: Aviator Justine Dusablon, Valcartier Imaging Services.

Main Battle Tank of the CAF

According to DND, the Leopard 2 is the main battle tank of the Canadian Armed Forces and of several Allies and partners.

The vehicles provide soldiers with a tactical advantage on the battlefield with their mobility, firepower and survivability.

“The donation of Canadian Army Leopard 2 tanks, combined with donations by Allies and partners, will significantly help the Armed Forces of Ukraine as they fight heroically to defend their nation’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity,” stated the DND.

Canada has already committed more than $1 billion in military aid to Ukraine.

Above image: National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS).

Continued Support

Anand’s announcement on Thursday is just weeks after the Defence Minister announced additional support in the form of an air defence system. Canada announced it would be purchasing a National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS) and associated munitions from the United States to donate to Ukraine.

Since Russia attacked Ukraine in early 2022, Canada has ramped up its support to Ukraine. Since February, Canada has committed more than $1 billion in military assistance. In addition, since March 2022, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) has delivered military aid to Ukraine from Canada and on behalf of other Allies. In total, the CAF has transported more than six million pounds of military donations to date.

Additionally, under Operation UNIFIER, CAF personnel are deployed to the United Kingdom and Poland to train members of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

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Mishall Rehman

Originally from Atlanta, GA, Mishall is a freelance journalist pursuing her passion for writing in her new homeland Canada. She currently lives in Trenton, ON with her husband.

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