Implementing the Armed Forces 95 and Armed Forces XXI programs, Switzerland is phasing out some of its heavy armor units. As part of this program Bern will transfer 12 Leopard 2 main battle tanks (Pz 87 Leo) to Canada. More of of the Swiss Pz 87 Leo fleet was therefore mothballed at various storage sites.
In recent years Canada has acquired surplus Leopard 2 tanks from a number of European countries, supporting its military operations in Afghanistan. 100 tanks (80 Leo 2A4, 20 Leo 2A6) were bought from the Netherlands in 2007. Twenty additional Leopard 2A6M were ‘borrowed’ from Germany from mid-2007 to support the Canadian deployment in Afghanistan, along with two Bergepanzer 3 Büffel (Buffalo) armored recovery vehicles. Canada has also acquired 15 German Army surplus Leopard 2A4 tanks to be used for spare parts. According to the Swiss Government announcement, the Swiss tanks to be delivered to Canada will be converted into support vehicles. The tanks are being transferred from Switzerland were stripped of the armament, radio-and intercom systems, to be used as spare parts for the Swiss Armed Forces.
Switzerland has bought 380 Leopard 2 tanks from Germany (of which 345 were locally built in Switzerland) to equip its heavy mechanized units; these tanks were delivered between 1987 and 1993. 134 of the tanks went through mid-life upgrade program in 2006. As part of the current force reduction, 12 tanks were converted into armored engineer and mine clearing vehicles designated “Pionierpanzer 3 Kodiak”, a combat engineering and mine-clearing vehicle, supporting the mechanized brigades.