The Leopard (or Leopard 1) is a main battle tank designed and produced by Porsche in West Germany that first entered service in 1965. Developed in an era when HEAT warheads were thought to make conventional heavy armour of limited value, the Leopard focused on firepower in the form of the German-built version of the British L7 105-mm gun, and improved cross-country performance that was unmatched by other designs of the era.
As a replacement for the Centurion Tank, Canada acquired 114 Leopard C1 tanks (equivalent to Leopard 1A3 with laser rangefinder) in 1978–79 for its Land Forces. Most of these tanks were stationed in Germany during the Cold War, with a few retained at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown, New Brunswick for training. In 1976, prior to delivery of these new Leopards, the Canadian government leased 35 Leopard 1A2 tanks from the contractor in order to begin training crews from the 4 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group (4CMBG) based in West Germany.
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