It is proving to be very effective against the Iranian drones used by Russia

Flakpanzer Gepard, the German vehicle that fights against Russian drones in Ukraine

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is a war scenario in which unmanned aerial vehicles have acquired great importance.

The heavy vehicles that Germany has decided to hand over to the Ukrainian Army
Ukrainian HIMARS missile launchers destroy the S-400, the best Russian air defense system

The use that both sides make of drones is very different. While the defenders of Ukraine use this weaponry to attack Russian military objectives, the invaders are using drones massively in their campaign of terror against the Ukrainian civilian population, in a strategy that not only seeks to demoralize the country invaded, but also force it to invest more and more resources in air defense.

Two Romanian Flakpanzer Gepards opening fire during a night exercise in Poland on November 24, 2021 (Photo: U.S. Army).

In their effort to provide military aid to Ukraine to defend itself against invasion, several countries have sent air defense systems. One of the systems is the German Flakpanzer Gepard, of which Ukraine has received around fifty units. This weapons system is already many years old: it began to be developed in the 1960s, combining the chassis of a Leopard 1 tank and a turret with two 35 mm Oerlikon GDF cannons and two radar antennas.

A Ukrainian Flakpanzer Gepard, decorated with the white cross used by Ukrainian forces to distinguish themselves from Russian invaders (Photo:

The Flakpanzer Gepard was the result of NATO's strategic doctrine for the Cold War years. This weapons system was born to provide short-range anti-aircraft protection to armored columns, in the face of a possible war that would take place on the great plains of Central Europe. So the threat to beat was not drones, but attack helicopters, like the Soviet Mil Mi-24.

A Ukrainian Flakpanzer Gepard with the markings of four Iranian HESA Shahed 136 drones and two downed missiles (Photo: Getty Images).

In addition to Germany, the Gepard was also purchased by Belgium, the Netherlands and Romania, within NATO, as well as Chile, Jordan, Qatar and Brazil. When the Russian invasion of Ukraine began, only the Brazilian and Romanian Gepards were active, but Germany still had many of these vehicles in storage, removed from service by the Bundeswehr in 2010. The transfer of 50 of them to Ukraine It was announced in April 2022.

The crew of a Ukrainian Flakpanzer Gepard showing the remains of an Iranian HESA Shahed 136 drone shot down near kyiv (Photo: UkraineIntoucH).

Although it was considered an already outdated weapons system, the Flakpanzer Gepard is proving more useful than expected against Russian drones and loitering munitions, threats that did not exist when this German vehicle was developed. The Gepard's radar antennas can detect targets at a distance of 15 km and its cannons have a lethal range of 5,500 meters, which gives a time of between 15 and 20 seconds for the crew of one of those vehicles shoot down that target once detected.

A Ukrainian Flakpanzer Gepard in the kyiv area. The Ukrainian Army received these vehicles in the three-color NATO camouflage used by Germany, but is painting them olive green (Photo: UkraineIntoucH).

The effectiveness of the Gepard in shooting down drones was revealed a few days ago. On November 25, Russia wanted to celebrate the anniversary of the Holodomor, the Ukrainian genocide caused by Stalin, launching a massive drone attack against the city of kyiv. The Russians used 75 HESA Shahed 136 drones provided by Iran, in the largest attack with unmanned aerial vehicles since the start of the war. Ukrainian forces shot down 74 of the drones, in part thanks to the help of the Gepard deployed in the kyiv area.

United24 today published an interesting video about the Flakpanzer Gepard, reviewing the capabilities of this anti-aircraft artillery system:


Main image: Ukrainian Front.

Don't miss the news and content that interest you. Receive the free daily newsletter in your email:

Opina sobre esta entrada:

Debes iniciar sesión para comentar. Pulsa aquí para iniciar sesión. Si aún no te has registrado, pulsa aquí para registrarte.