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In Depth

Canada's Military

Equipment: Mobile Gun System vs. Leopard tank

Last Updated October 30, 2003

In a move toward making the Canadian land forces more nimble and responsive, Defence Minister John McCallum announced $600 million for 66 new fighting vehicles meant to replace Canada's fleet of Leopard battle tanks. Here's how the two vehicles compare:




Mobile Gun System

The eight-wheel-drive Mobile Gun System is based on the LAV III platform, already in extensive use by the Canadian Forces (there are currently 651 LAV variants in operation). The Mobile Gun System is also used by the U.S. military, which ordered 2,131 of the vehicles in November 2000.

U.S. tests have proven the Mobile Gun System is able to fit inside a C-130 Hercules aircraft – the Canadian Forces' main air transport.

Mobile Gun System. Photo courtesy General Dynamics.
Crew: 3
105-mm main gun
.50-calibre machine gun
7.62-mm gun
Range: 483 km
Speed: 100 km/h
Engine 350 hp Caterpillar diesel
Weight: 17.2 tonnes

Links:
U.S. army Stryker profile




Leopard tank

This is Canada's main (and only) battle tank. The Leopard was originally developed by Germany in the 1960s. Canada purchased 127 of these in 1978/79 and began upgrading them with new armaments and armour. According to the Department of National Defence, the Leopard can remain serviceable until 2010.

The Leopard is too heavy to be transported by Canadian Forces aircraft.

Leopard tank. Photo courtesy Department of National Defence.
Entered service: 1978
Number in service: 114
105-mm main gun
2 - 7.62-mm machine guns
Crew: 4
Range: 600 km
Speed: 65 km/h
Engine: 10-cylinder, 830 hp multifuel
Weight (loaded): 42.5 tonnes

Variants:
Taurus (armoured repair and recovery)
Badger (armoured engineer vehicle)
Beaver (bridge layer)

Links:
CASR - Leopard tank
Department of National Defence - Leopard tank

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