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 locally designated as the Leopard C1. In 2000 a total of 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, these plans were not executed. Currently, these Canadian tanks are nearly 40 years old and it becomes increasingly harder to maintain them. The upgraded 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 Leopard 1A5. These turrets were purchased from German Ministry of Defense. The 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. The vehicle has thermal sights and new computerized fire control system.