The Modern Flak panzer

The Gepard has gained a reputation as a potent drone killer in Ukraine,

In World War Two, the Germans deployed anti-aircraft cannons mounted on tank chassis, which were designed to keep up with the Panzer Divisions. The early types were based on the Panzer I & 38(t) but later models such as the Mobelwagen and Wirbelwind utilised the chassis of the ubiquitous Panzer IV. Allied airmen consequently gained a healthy respect for German mobile light-flak when operating at low levels. It was these wartime Flakpanzers that influenced the design of the Gepard anti-aircraft tank, later produced for the Bundeswehr.

Development work began in the early 1960s with prototypes ready to undergo testing by 1969. The German government placed an order for 420 units in 1973 and the Gepard Mk1 officially went into service in 1976. This modern Flakpanzer combines twin turret-mounted 35mm auto-cannons with the chassis of the Leopard 1 tank. Power is supplied by a 37.4-litre MTU ten-cylinder supercharged engine. This is the same power pack used in the original tank and affords the Gepard impressive speed and crosscountry mobility. Auxiliary power is provided by a separate fo…

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