Canada was the first nation contributing forces to ISAF that deployed main battle tanks to Afghanistan. The deployment was based on an operational requirement for tracked vehicles and more fire power issued by field commanders. During operations in the Taliban-controlled Panjwai District it had become clear that the deployed LAV III lacked sufficient fire power, armour protection and cross country mobility to deal with the insurgents who sheltered in fortified positions and used anti-armour weapons. In late 2006 the Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians) was the only remaining tank unit in the Canadian Army order of battle and a squadron of the unit was quickly trained and rushed to Afghanistan. The Leopard C2 main battle tanks of the unit arrived in the vicinity of Kandahar in late September and October 2006. With add-on armour the Leopard C2 has a weight of approximately 47 tonnes. The main battle tank is powered by an MTU MB838 CaM500 10-cylinder multi-fuel engine that develops 830hp at 2,200rpm. With a single tank filling of 895 litres the tank has a road range of 600km and it can reach a top speed of 60 km/h.
The armament of the Leopard C2 main battle tank consists of a 105mm L7A3 rifled tank gun, a coaxial 7.62mm C6 GPMG machine gun and a 7.62mm C6 GPMG air defence machine gun mounted on the rin