The Leopard C2 MBT is a Canadian upgrade of the German Leopard 1. Canada purchased 127 Leopard 1A3 MBTs in the late 1970s. These were designated as the Leopard C1. In 2000 the 114 C1 tanks were upgraded to the C2 standard to extend their service lives. There were plans to replace these tanks with Stryker Mobile Gun Systems, however the C2s are likely to remain in active service until 2015.
The Leopard C2 MBTs have increased armor protection. It is fitted with NBC protection and automatic fire suppression systems as standard. Vehicles sent to Afghanistan in 2006 were fitted with MEXAS add-on heavy composite armor kits. This armor provides superior protection against RPGs and IEDs.
The Leopard C2 main battle tank is fitted with a complete turret of the the Leopard 1A5. These turrets were purchased from German Ministry of Defense. Vehicle is armed with a fully-stabilized L7A3 105-mm rifled gun. This gun is capable of firing accurately while the tank is moving. It fires a full range of NATO 105-mm tank ammunition. This tank also uses improved ammunition for increased lethality. Vehicle has thermal sights and new computerized fire control system.
Ammunition carried would normally consists of large proportion of armor-piercing rounds. During peacekeeping operations these tanks usually carry a mix of high explosive and squash-head rounds.
Secondary armament consists of two 7.62-mm machine guns. One of them is mounted coaxially with the main gun, other is located on top of the roof.
The Leopard C2 tank uses the same engine as the Leopard 1. It is powered by the MTU multi-fuel diesel, developing 830 hp. Engine and transmission are mated in one block and can be replaced within 20 minutes in field conditions. Vehicle can be additionally fitted with a mine rack or dozer blade. This tank is also capable of submerged fording. The C2 can be airlifted by the C-17 or Il-76 transport aircraft.