The Canadian Armed Forces has accomplished its promised deployment of 15 Leopard 2 battle tanks to Latvia in an effort to create a combat-ready NATO brigade in Japanese Europe.
The squadron of Leopard 2 tanks arrived in Latvia on Nov. 10 together with a detachment of help personnel and tools, a Division of Nationwide Defence spokesperson confirmed Tuesday.
The deliberate deployment was introduced in June, when then defence minister Anita Anand stated the squadron would strengthen the NATO alliance’s deterrence capabilities in opposition to the backdrop of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Leopard 2A4M tanks and accompanying help automobiles have been despatched from Gagetown, N.B., and Edmonton. The complete complement of 130 personnel required to function the newly arrived tank squadron should not anticipated in Latvia till subsequent spring.
In July, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited Latvia, the place he dedicated $2.6 billion to renewing and increasing the Canadian Forces mission to Central and Japanese Europe over the subsequent three years.
The Division of Nationwide Defence says roughly 1,000 Canadian Forces members are at the moment deployed to Latvia, with plans to scale up the Canadian-led battlegroup to a full brigade with 2,200 Canadian service members by 2026.
“This operation is Canada’s contribution to the largest reinforcement of the alliance’s collective defence in a era, and Canada’s largest abroad mission, with as much as 2,200 troops to be persistently deployed, greater than double the present deployment,” Trudeau stated.
The prime minister reaffirmed that dedication Saturday, Latvia’s nationwide Independence Day, touting the 2 international locations’ shared ties and customary values of “freedom, democracy, and the rule of regulation, in addition to a mutual dedication to transatlantic safety.”
The Leopard 2A4M is Canada’s most superior battle tank.
The Canadian Military’s fleet of variant Leopard 2A6M tanks is at the moment present process a modernization program to switch turret elements, resembling optics and hearth management tools, that may largely standardize techniques between the 2A4M and 2A6M variants.
“This may present the Canadian Military with a fleet of 40 modernized Leopard 2A4M CAN / 2A6M CAN principal battle tanks that share frequent elements and coaching necessities, whereas additionally bettering availability and serviceability,” Division of Nationwide Defence spokesperson Maj. Soomin Kim stated in an e-mail Tuesday.
“The 2A6M CAN will retain the longer 120mm L55 calibre gun, whereas the 2A4M CAN will retain the shorter L44 gun,” Kim added.
A prototype of the transformed Leopard 2A6M has already been examined, with the conversion of the remaining 19 tanks now underway in Bathurst, N.B. The work will even embrace repairing and overhauling mechanical elements of the tanks, resembling engines and suspension techniques.