Here's a bit of an update on tank activity in Afghanistan. Don't anyone worry about OPSEC issues about this...all this info is unclassified and directly from the Commanding Officer of the LdSH(RC).
-the Leopard C2s have faced RPGs, small arms fire, mines and IEDs.
-the tactics used work
-the tanks and crews have been tested in every respect—their firepower, their protection, and the mobility provided by their tracks, dozer blades, mine ploughs, and mine rollers.
About the new tanks:
-‘C’ Squadron begins its Leopard 2A6M conversion at the German Armour School in Munster, Germany in June. The vehicle mechanics and ARV drivers will be trained at Kraus-Maffei Wegmann in Munich, Germany.
LAV III Tow Under Armour:
-Some of you may not know that the LdSH(RC) also has ‘E’ Company. The are members of 1 PPCLI who are part of the Regiment wearing black berets and the PPCLI hat badge. They operate a Company of LAV III TUA in the Regiment. A Platoon of ALV III TUA was ready to deploy with 'B' Squadron to Afghanistan in September 2006 but were not ordered to deploy. It is likely at some point in the future they will deploy to Afghanistan with the LAV II TUA.
Good to hear that the Leo's and crews have been faring so well. That recent IED strike must have been an eye-opener for the crew.
I know it's far to early but do you have any idea whether the 20 2A6's purchased from the Dutch would retain the earlier wavy side skirts or would you think that during upgrades these would be updated to the newer uparmoured straight skirts? Is it certain that the 2A4's will indeed be upgraded to (let's hope) 2A6 level? I know you've noted this in recent posts based on your personal contacts. Just curious as DND project info is so hard to come by.
During the operations over the past few weeks the Leopards have taken more small arms and multiple RPG rounds fired at them and two tanks equipped with mine rollers have hit mines...no injuries to the crews.
The Leopard crews have been fighting in built up areas very effectively with extreme precision and no hesitation when engaging the Taliban.
The use of the mine ploughs, mine rollers, dozer blades, and Badger AEV in the built up areas is a huge success.
Recoveries of Leopards and LAV IIIs have taken place under fire and the recoveries have gone off without a hitch.
The tanks and crews are getting hotter in the summer but the crews are adapting and managing.
Poking through the latest additions I found a shot of a patrol of Coyotes with an M577 bringing up the rear... it has add on armour, new tracks and other mods (the 4 barrel SGLs) another neat bucket conversion
They just keep popping up randomly on Combat Camera.
This is call sign '11A' or 'Tango11A' when part of the Infantry battle group.
Note the mine roller bra mounted and what looks like more new battle art on the turret MEXAS to the rear of the MBGDs.....a big black spider. Good view of the kit..lots of water bottles, tarps, folding metal cots.
The battle lasted 4 hours with Infantry, Tanks, Combat Engineers, and close air support with F-15s, A-10s, and Attack Helicopters. Estimated Taliban KIA are from 15-21. Friendly casualties were minor injuries to 2 Canadian soldiers and 3 Afghan National Army soldiers.