The Gepard mobile air defence system
The Gepard is a heavily armoured, autonomous and mobile air defence system based on the chassis of the Leopard main battle tank. The Gepard anti-aircraft tank was manufactured by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW), based in Munchen, Germany, and was delivered to the armed forces of Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands.
The vehicle is no longer in service with the armies of Netherlands and Belgium. The German Army is expected to replace its systems by 2013.
In September 2008, Chile bought 30 ex-German Army Gepard systems. The first five were delivered in November 2008.
43 surplus Gepard self-propelled anti-aircraft guns have been donated to the Romanian Army by Germany. The first was delivered in November 2004.
Gepard air defence upgrade programme
The modernisation scheme for the Gepard included: integration of C3 capabilities; improvement in target engagement with extended combat range, shorter reaction time and better hit and kill probability; and improved self protection. The main thrust of the improvement programme was the installation of new fire control systems, command and control management, muzzle velocity measurement device and the certification for new frangible armour-piercing discarding-sabot ammunition (FAPDS) rounds.
The command, control and communications network for the Dutch Gepard includes the new TICCS control system with a FM 9000 radio from Thales Nederland (formerly Signaal). The C3 system for the German Gepard, the HflaAFüSys, includes a new SEM 93 radio from SEL / Alcatel (GE).
The Dutch version, PRTL 35mm GWI, is based on the same system technology as the Gepard system with the exception of the radar system configuration. For this reason the upgrade programme was managed as a bilateral project.
First deliveries of vehicles in the upgrade programme were made in 1998, and the programme was completed in 2005. Germany upgraded 147 systems.
Gepard anti-aircraft turret and guns
The Gepard is fitted with a two-man electric power operated turret armed with twin Oerlikon KDA 35mm guns. The guns have automatic belt feed. Barrel length is 90 calibers (3,150mm). The rate of fire provided by the two barrels is 1,100 rounds a minute. Each 35mm gun has 320 rounds of ready-to-fire, anti-air ammunition and 20 rounds of anti-ground target ammunition. The guns are capable of firing a range of standardised 35mm ammunition, including the new FAPDS rounds. The FAPDS rounds have a muzzle velocity greater than 1,400m a second. The Gepard is equipped with eight smoke dischargers installed on either side of the turret.
KMW developed a missile system for the Gepard, using the Stinger surface-to-air missile system. The twin Stinger launching system was fitted on the side of the 35mm twin gun on a single unit. The system was tested but was not deployed due to financial constraints.
The Gepard is equipped with a digital fire control computer supplied by EADS (DASA). The miniaturised digital computer uses 32bit Motorola 68020 microprocessors, single board computers with dedicated arithmetic coprocessors and a command, control and communications (C3) interface. All data handled by the fire control system is related to the fixed vehicle coordinate system.
The Gepard is equipped with independent search and tracking radars, the search radar (S band for the German vehicle and X band for the Dutch vehicle) installed at the front rear of the turret, and the tracking radar (Ku band for the German vehicle and X/Ka band for the Netherlands) on the rear front of the turret.
The radars provide 360° scanning with simultaneous target tracking, clutter suppression, search on the move capability and monopulse tracking mode.
The S-band search radar installed on the German Gepard has a range of 15km and sub-clutter visibility of 60dB. The German Gepard tracking radar operating at Ku band has a range of 15km and the clutter suppression is 23dB.
The Gepard’s auxiliary power unit is the Daimler Benz 66kW liquid cooled, multifuel, diesel engine, type OM 314. The generator power supply is 3x 200/115V, at 380Hz providing 2x20kVA power.