Thursday, April 12, 2007

Replacing the Leopard

I read today that Canada might be thinking of replacing it's aging leopard tanks, well that might be a good idea considering that those tanks are quite old and their deployement in Afghanistan showed one flaw in their design... no climate control and it's apprently a problem for the soldier as on a sunny day the temperature inside the tank can raise as high as 50 celcius. To get an idea of how old the Leopard C2 used by the candian force is well, they were bought in 1978-1979 based on a tank chasis that was develloped in the 1960s. Now the former Liberal governement had planed to scrap the tank and replaced them with mobile gun, basically a lightly armored moving gun. This probably wouldn't be a bad idea for peacekeeping mission but the Afghanistan mission is basically a war mission were the ennemies are not trying not to shoot at you but are actually to shoot through you with the meanest weapon they can find. In this kind of mission heavilly armored tanks might be a good idea and a good way to lower canadian fatalities.

My problem is with what they plan on replacing them with, Leopard 2 tanks... second hand from the Netherlands and while waiting for those tanks to be canadianised we will be renting German Leopard 2 tank. I personnaly think it is an odd idea, we are finding that our tank are out of date and instead of replacing them with the next generation of tanks to make them most of our investissement. Right now the situation is that we are buying a current generation tanks which means his replacement are already in the work AND that it's operational life is already fading away.

Another thing we need to recall is Canada bad experience with second hand military hardware... you know submarines from the British. We don't want to have a big military but can we at least make sure we have the best hardware possible as to have the best bang for our buck so to speak.

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