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Flakpanzer Gepard – Self Propelled Anti-Aircraft Gun

  • $548.00
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About the Flakpanzer Gepard – Self Propelled Anti-Aircraft Gun:

Since the inception of combat aircraft during World War I, militaries have been building ground based defensive systems to fend off air attack. What started as a simple machine gun or cannon on the back of a Lorry has transitioned into some of the most sophisticated equipment of the Twenty-First Century. In Germany, the Flugabwehrkanonenpanzer (nicknamed Cheetah, or more simply, the Flakpanzer Gepard) has been the mainstay of their mobile air-defense portfolio since its inception in the 1960s. A rather simple system, the Gepard relies on two Oerlikon automatic 35mm cannons to vaporize aerial threats. The genesis of the Gepard was West Germany’s need for a mobile defense system during the height of the Cold War. Its base is a Leopard I tank chassis that has been slightly modified but includes the same propulsion system. Unique to the Gepard is a secondary Daimler-Benz 4-cylinder engine found at the front of the vehicle. This engine is used to support the energy supply system that is needed to operate the turret, autocannons, and fire-control systems. The turret uses an S-Band search radar mounted to the stern and Ku-band tracking radar at the bow. Each radar can detect threats up to 9 miles away. The search radar continuously rotates at 60 RPM and passes target date to the tracking radar allowing for an unremitting search. The Gepard utilizes a crew of three, including a commander, driver, and gunner.

While the standard design has remained the same over the past forty years, the Germans have integrated new electronics and radar systems as technological advancements have been made. While the Gepard never faced a Soviet invasion during the Cold War, it has recently been used by Ukrainians during their war with Russia. Germany’s promise to send 50 Gepards is the nation’s first initiative to aid Ukraine with heavy weaponry. Their use, to this point, has been the targeting and destruction of Russian Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).