Tanks very much for the primer, son
Over at The Torch, Wonderdog, who has some experience operating from the inside of the armoured behemoth we call the Leopard C2, has written an excellent primer on the proposed deployment of that weapon to Afghanistan.
Debunking the Globe & Mail's sloppy and dishonest reporting on this story would require more typing than I'm willing to do. Suffice to say that the total number of the 2000-plus Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan who will be buttoned up in those fifteen Leopards will be ... 60.
That should put all the cheering and hand-wringing into perspective.
Let's be clear. What the government is sending -- if the proposal is approved -- is the Leopard C2 tank. The Leopard is operated by a crew of four (driver, gunner, loader and crew commander). It does not carry troops, and is not a substitute for the LAV III. Its frontal armour is essentially impervious to RPGs and other mere pop-guns, but this is not to say that it is invulnerable. The side and rear armour is thinner, and a roadside bomb could easily render a Leo immobile by damaging tracks or suspension. If that were to happen, and an ARV was unavailable, the crew could be forced to destroy the tank in place -- not something you'd like to see, if you only had 15 of them.
[Zipper]head on over and read the rest.
Zipperhead. Are you listening, son? I'm talking about a tanker. That's a joke, son, a joke. Stand up next time, son, I say stand up - they're going right over your head. /Foghorn Leghorn