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Flugabwehrkanonenpanzer Gepard (Flakpanzer)

Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft Artillery (SPAAA) [ 1974 ]

The Cold War-era West German Gepard Flakpanzer air-defense vehicle was built atop the existing chassis of the Leopard 1 Main Battle Tank.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 04/26/2022 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

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 MBT 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 rate-of-fire with a maximum, effective range out to about 3,500 meters (approximately 2.2 miles).

The vehicle weighed 52.5 tons (short) and had an overall length of 25 feet, width of 12 feet, and a height of 10.9 feet (with the radar unit retracted). The weapons were 2 x 35mm Oerlikon GDF automatic cannons with the onboard ammunition stock being a mix of Anti-Aircraft (AA) (320 projectiles each gun) and Anti-Tank (AT) (20 projectiles each gun) to make the vehicle as versatile as possible - especially considering the enemy-of-the-day was the Soviet Union and its massive tank-centric army. Beyond this, the vehicle carried 76mm smoke grenade dischargers in twin banks of four launchers each mounted at the lower sides of the turret for "self-screening" measures.

Armor protection was of conventional steel, giving it resistance against small arms, artillery "spray", and some larger-caliber weapons.

Drive power was from a single MTU 10-cylinder, multi-fuel engine outputting 830 horsepower to a conventional track-and-wheel arrangement. This involved seven rubber-tired roadwheels to each hull side with the drive sprocket at rear and the track idler at front. Four track-return rollers were featured along each hull side to help drive the track links about. As the Gepard relied on the Leopard 1 chassis, the driver's positioned was at front-right - the commander and gunner in the traversing turret.

Cross-country travel was aided by a full torsion bar suspension system. Operational range was out to 340 miles and maximum road speeds could reach 40 miles-per-hour.

The German Army retired its last Gepard systems in 2010 to make 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 but lost little of its lethality.

The armies of Brazil (ex-German stock), Jordan (ex-Dutch stock), and Romania (ex-German stock) still utilize the Gepard system. Belgium and Chile have joined Germany and the Netherlands in retiring the platform in full.

Over 500 examples were produced.©MilitaryFactory.com
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Service Year

Germany national flag graphic

In Limited Service.

Krauss-Maffei Wegmann - West Germany
(View other Vehicle-Related Manufacturers)
National flag of Belgium National flag of Brazil National flag of Chile National flag of modern Germany National flag of Jordan National flag of the Netherlands National flag of Romania Brazil; Belgium (retired); Chile (retired); Germany (retired) / West Germany (retired); Jordan; Netherlands; Romania
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Anti-Aircraft / Airspace Denial
Base model or variant can be used to search, track, and neutralize airborne elements at range.

Track-and-Wheel Arrangement
Vehicle utilizes a track-and-wheel arrangement to provide enhanced cross-country travel capability.
Primary Turret
A modern tank quality, this vehicle sports its main armament in a single turret.
Firing On-the-Move
A modern quality, onboard systems provide accuracy to primary armament allowing for firing on-the-move.
Cross-Country Capability
Design includes such features as a track-link system or high ground clearance to better traverse offroad.
Shallow Glacis
The shallow design of the glacis plate provides the vehicle with inherent ballistics protection as well as contributes to a lower overall profile - making it more difficult to disable.
Armored Skirt
Additional protection to the upper track reaches and roadwheels is achieved by way of addon armored skirts along the sides of the hull.
NBC Protection
Crew is provided (either as standard or optional) protection against Nuclear-Biological-Chemical agents for enhanced survivability in contaminated zones.
Smoke Screening
Vehicle has capability to self-generate a smoke screen, either through launched grenades or built-in engine funtion (raw fuel injection).
Crew has access to night-vision equipment, allowing for low-light or night time operations.
Anti-Aircraft / Air-Defense Capable
System is given an anti-aircraft defense component to protect itself from low-flying aerial threats at range.

23.3 ft
7.09 m
10.7 ft
3.25 m
9.9 ft
3.01 m
100,310 lb
45,500 kg
50.2 tons
(Showcased structural values pertain to the base Flugabwehrkanonenpanzer Gepard (Flakpanzer) production variant. Length typically includes main gun in forward position if applicable to the design)
Powerplant: 1 x MTU MB838 Ca M500, 10-cylinder, water-cooled diesel-fueled engine developing 830 horsepower at 2,200rpm driving conventional track-and-wheeled arrangement.
40.4 mph
(65.0 kph)
341.8 mi
(550.0 km)
(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the base Flugabwehrkanonenpanzer Gepard (Flakpanzer) production variant. Compare this entry against any other in our database)
2 x 35mm Oerlikon Autocannons on turret (one gun to a turret side).
8 x 76mm Smoke Grenade Dischargers on turret in two banks of four launchers each.

Supported Types

Graphical image of a tank automatic cannon
Graphical image of tank /armored vehicle smoke grenade dischargers

(Not all weapon types may be represented in the showcase above)
640 x 35mm Anti-Aircraft (AA) projectiles (320 rounds to a gun).
40 x 35mm Anti-Tank (AT) projectiles (20 rounds to a gun).
8 x 76mm Smoke Grenades.

Gepard - Variant of the Leopard 1 Main Battle Tank, utilizing its complete chassis; fitted with 2 x 35mm Oerlikon autocannons; 10-cylinder MTU multi-fuel diesel engine.

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Images Gallery

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Image of the Flugabwehrkanonenpanzer Gepard (Flakpanzer)
Image from the US DoD DVIDS imagery database; Public Release.
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Image of the Flugabwehrkanonenpanzer Gepard (Flakpanzer)
Image from the US DoD DVIDS imagery database; Public Release.
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Image of the Flugabwehrkanonenpanzer Gepard (Flakpanzer)
Image from the US DoD DVIDS imagery database; Public Release.
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Image of the Flugabwehrkanonenpanzer Gepard (Flakpanzer)
Image from the United States Department of Defense imagery database.
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Image of the Flugabwehrkanonenpanzer Gepard (Flakpanzer)
Image from the United States Department of Defense imagery database.

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