NO CANADIAN LEOPARD TANKS FOR AFGHAN ARMY; DAVID PUGLIESE OTTAWA CITIZEN JOURNALIST

NO CANADIAN LEOPARD TANKS FOR THE AFGHAN ARMY SAYS NATYNCZYK

 

BY DAVID PUGLIESE

Ottawa Citizen

 

The Canadian Forces could end up leaving some of its surplus supplies and equipment for NATO and the Afghan National Army and police after officers finish deciding what needs to be shipped back to Canada as the mission winds down.

 

But Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Walter Natynczyk told Defence Watch the one weapon system that won’t be provided to the ANA are Canadian tanks. The ANA has requested that the Canadian Leopard 1s be left for its use.

 

“We’ve given them a lot in terms of weapons and flak jackets,” Natynczyk said in a interview. “I know (Afghan Defence) Minister Wardak wanted some of the heavier equipment but some of the parts are no longer made. He wanted Leopard 1s but there are no parts made for Leopard 1s.”

 

“We anticipate the Americans and others will give them other vehicles that are still being supported by parts,” Natynczyk added. “It’s not reasonable to give them equipment and not give them parts because parts are not being made anymore.”

 

In August Natynczyk issued directions for Canadian officers to begin planning the drawdown of equipment in preparation for the end of the mission in July, 2011. He said shipping equipment and supplies back to Canada will be a year-long process.

 

In 2007, NATO and Canada examined the issue of transferring Leopards to the Afghan National Army, according to U.S. Army Maj.-Gen. Robert Durbin, who at that time was head of the effort to help develop Afghanistan’s army and police forces.

 

He said in a May 2007 interview that any move to supply the tanks would be handled through NATO. “So we’ve had some interesting discussions,” Durbin told the Citizen. “Canada is one nation. You’ve got Germany. Even New Zealand has Leopards,” he said.

 

Asked whether plans could involve the Canadian Forces turning over the Leopard tanks it already uses in Kandahar to the Afghan army, Durbin responded, “that might be one option that could make sense.”

 

Durbin said he favored a mix of equipment from NATO and Russian stocks. Ground equipment, most weapon systems and communications gear would be NATO standard so the ANA and ANP could be interoperable with coalition forces, he said.

 

The provision of surplus M-16s and M113 armored vehicles was planned, among other deliveries to the Afghans, he added.

 

But Durbin wanted Russian and former Warsaw Pact helicopters for the Afghan military because he considered such aircraft are highly reliable and well suited for Afghanistan’s rugged and often mountainous terrain.

 

For fixed-wing aircraft the Afghan air corps would continue over the short term to use its existing Antonov transport planes but Durbin said there was interest in acquiring western-built aircraft. C-130s, C-27s were among the planes he mentioned.

 

 

 

 

For a related David Pugliese’s Defence Watch article on this subject go here:

 

http://communities.canada.com/ottawacitizen/blogs/defencewatch/archive/2008/01/03/is-giving-c-7s-to-the-afghan-national-army-the-right-move.aspx

 

For a related story on the proposed provision of Leopard tanks to the ANA go here:

 

https://davidpugliese.wordpress.com/2009/11/11/afghan-army-wants-canadian-leopards-by-david-pugliese-ottawa-citizen/

 

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One Response to “NO CANADIAN LEOPARD TANKS FOR AFGHAN ARMY; DAVID PUGLIESE OTTAWA CITIZEN JOURNALIST”

  1. vic williams Says:

    Hi,

    If you do a google on [ brazil “leopard 1” army tank ] you’ll find that they’re getting 250 updated Leopard 1s and will expect to use them for a while. The Leo 1s can and have been updated for an extended life – and their capability, especially mobility, is excellent for Brazil’s situation.

    It’s sort of like the Buffalo story. The US is considering automatic/robot STOL aircraft and the Buff fits perfectly, but you won’t hear a peep about that from the people who say that everything has to be shiny new. New or upgraded Buffs fit all kinds of aid delivery, Canada/Australia North, and India’s huge STOL upgrade program, but you won’t hear much about that either.

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