OTTAWA, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) -- Canadian Defense Minister Peter MacKay officially announced on Thursday the arrival in Canada of surplus Leopard 2A4 tanks from the Royal Netherlands Army purchased five years ago as part of Canada's 650-million-Canadian- dollar (about 671-million-U.S.-dollar) tank-replacement project.
A total of 42 Leopard 2A4s Canadian tanks, which were upgraded from their earlier Dutch version, will be delivered to the Canadian Army by the end of next year. Five are already being used for training at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown in the eastern province of New Brunswick.
"Our government's procurement of this impressive platform will ensure the Canadian Forces have the capability they need to support future operations," said MacKay.
The tank-replacement project is part of a comprehensive 20-year Canada First Defense Strategy to bolster the Canadian military's equipment and personnel. (1 U.S. dollar equals 0.9688 Canadian dollars)