​Germany to Deliver the First Batch of Gepard Anti-Aircraft Tanks in Ukraine in Six Weeks

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The Gepard antiaircraft tank of the German armed forces Bundeswehr at the exercise area of Munster about 80 km south east of Hamburg, Germany / Photo credit: Christian Charisius/Reuters
The Gepard antiaircraft tank of the German armed forces Bundeswehr at the exercise area of Munster about 80 km south east of Hamburg, Germany / Photo credit: Christian Charisius/Reuters

Germany will deliver the first 15 Gepard anti-aircraft tanks (anti-aircraft cannon tank Cheetah, or better known as the Flakpanzer Gepard) - an all-weather-capable German self-propelled anti-aircraft gun to Ukraine in July

It is according to Germany defense ministry spokesperson, The Guardian reports.

Germany’s defense minister, Christine Lambrecht, had agreed on this delivery in a conversation with her Ukrainian counterpart, Oleksii Reznikov, via video link, the spokesperson added.

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Gepard anti-aircraft tank better known as the Flakpanzer Gepard, Germany to Deliver the First Batch of Gepard Anti-Aircraft Tanks in Ukraine in Six Weeks,Defense Express
Gepard anti-aircraft tank better known as the Flakpanzer Gepard

It is not reported exactly how much Gepard anti-aircraft tanks Germany plans to transfer to Ukraine. However, as previously reported by Defense Express, currently in the warehouses of German defense concerns are about 50 units of disarmed the Gepards.

It will be recalled that Gepard anti-aircraft tank is based on the hull of the Leopard 1 tank with a large fully rotating turret carrying the armament – a pair of 35 mm Oerlikon KDA autocannons and two radar dishes – a general search radar at the rear of the turret and a tracking radar, and laser rangefinder, at the front between the guns. Each gun has a firing rate of 550 rounds/min, which gives a continuous fire time of 37 seconds before running out of ammo (with 680 rounds for both guns).

Gepard 1A2 of the German Army, Germany to Deliver the First Batch of Gepard Anti-Aircraft Tanks in Ukraine in Six Weeks, Defense Express
Gepard 1A2 of the German Army

The guns are 90 calibres (3.15 m (10 ft 4 in)) long, with a muzzle velocity of 1,440 m/s (4,700 ft/s) (FAPDS - Frangible Armour Piercing Discarding Sabot rounds), giving an effective range of 5,500 m. The KDA autocannon can take two different ammunition types; the usual loading is a mix of 320 AA and 20 AP rounds per gun. Combined rate of fire is 1,100 rounds/min.

The electrically driven turret is powered by a 40 kW generator driven by a 4-cylinder, 3.8 litre Mercedes-Benz OM 314 multi-fuel engine.

Germany Changed its Position: Ukraine Receive Gepard Anti-Aircraft Tanks, Defense Express
Gepard anti-aircraft tank is based on the hull of the Leopard 1 tank

Gepard anti-aircraft tank was developed in the 1960s and fielded in the 1970s, and has been upgraded several times with the latest electronics. It constituted a cornerstone of the air defence of the German Army (Bundeswehr) and a number of other NATO countries. In Germany, the Gepard was phased out in late 2010 and replaced by Wiesel 2 Ozelot Leichtes Flugabwehrsystem (LeFlaSys) with four FIM-92 Stinger or LFK NG missile launchers. A variant with the MANTIS gun system and LFK NG missiles, based on the GTK Boxer, was also considered.

A Gepard firing at the German army's Hohwacht Bay training area, 1987, Germany Changed its Position: Ukraine Receive Gepard Anti-Aircraft Tanks,Defense Express
A Gepard firing at the German army's Hohwacht Bay training area (1987)

Last month, Germany announced that it would for the first time supply Ukraine with heavy weapons, namely Gepard air-defense tanks, after accusations it had initially dragged its heels on heavy weapons deliveries to Kyiv.

Since then, Germany has also pledged seven self-propelled Howitzers to Kyiv and has started training Ukrainian troops on them.

As Defense Express reported the meeting of defense ministers at the Ramstein military base in Germany forced the latter to take a "step forward" in the supply of weapons to Ukraine.

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