09/13/2012 09:25 EDT | Updated 11/13/2012 05:12 EST

'New Generation' Tanks Announced By MacKay At CFB Gagetown (PHOTOS)

Minister of National Defence Peter MacKay announced what he's calling a new generation of tanks at CFB Gagetown Thursday.

Members of the Combat Training Centre’s Armour School showcased the capabilities of the latest tanks — the Leopard 2A4 Canadian tank.

Ottawa bought the tanks from Netherlands in 2007 as part of a $650-million tank replacement project.

A total of 42 Leopard 2A4 Canadian tanks will be delivered to the Canadian army by the end of 2013, with the first five now serving at the Armour School at Gagetown.

“Our government’s procurement of this impressive platform will ensure the Canadian Forces have the capability they need to support future operations," MacKay said in a news release.

According to the federal government, recent military operations in Afghanistan proved that tanks like the Leopard 2A4 Canadian tank are essential in providing protection, mobility and firepower to soldiers.

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