The West German Gepard Flakpanzer Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft Gun was based on the chassis of the Leopard 1 Main Battle Tank.
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Credit: Image from the United States Department of Defense imagery database.
The Gepard Flakpanzer, a tracked, Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft Gun (SPAAG) platform arriving from West Germany during the Cold War, was built atop the existing - and proven - chassis of the Leopard 1 Main Battle Tank (MBT) and served mobile anti-aircraft artillery battalions of the West. It featured twin-35mm autocannons in a traversing turret and could fire a variety of air-exploding ammunition including APHE (Armor-Piercing High Explosive) and HEI (High Explosive Incendiary) rounds. The primary purpose of the system was in combating low-flying ground attack craft and helicopters featured by the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc nations.
The automotive components of the Gepard retained the same powerpack of the Leopard 1 and was operated by a crew of three comprising of a driver, commander, and gunner. A separate powerpack was also included to drive the onboard tracking system. The turret fitted a complete Fire Control System (FCS), full tracking and search radar functionality and its guns were capable of 550 rounds-per-minute fire with a maximum effective range of about 3,500 meters (nearly 2.2 miles).
The German Army retired its last Gepard systems in 2010 - making room for a new, more modern solution based on the GTK Boxer multi-role wheeled vehicle. The Dutch version fitted a different radar system than the German offering.
The armies of Brazil (ex-German), Jordan (ex-Dutch) and Romania (ex-German) still utilize the Gepard system. Belgium and Chile have joined Germany and the Netherlands in retiring the platform.
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