SPECIAL REPORT                                                                                                                                           FROM THE INTERNET


From the INTERNET DJ takes out details about a new anti-aircraft tank

The Gepard anti-aircraft tank is manufactured by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW), based in Munchen, Germany and is operational with the armed forces of Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. The Gepard is a heavily armoured, autonomous and mobile airdefence system based on the chassis of the Leopard main battle tank.

The vehicle is fitted with a fire control system, all-weather tracking and acquisition sensors and powerful automatic guns. Its role within NATO is to protect key installations, combat units and troops on the move as well as on the battlefield.


The Gepard is fitted with a two man turret armed with twin Oerlikon KDA 35mm guns. The power operated turret has a Ward-Leonard generator driven from the auxiliary power unit.

The guns have automatic belt feed. The barrel length is 90 calibres (3150 mm). The rate of fire provided by the two barrels is 1100 rounds per minute. Each 35 mm 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 35 mm ammunition including TP-T, HEI-T, SAPHEI (Semi-armoured piercing high explosive incendiary), APDS-T and Frangible Armour Piercing Discarding Sabot (FAPDS) rounds. The FAPDS rounds have a very high muzzle velocity, greater than 1400 metres per second.


The Gepard is equipped with a digital fire control computer supplied by Siemens. The miniaturised digital computer uses 32 bit Motorola 68020 microprocessors, single board computers with dedicated arithmetic coprocessors and common memory and a command, control and communications (C3) interface. All data handled by the fire control system is related to the fixed vehicle coordinate system.


A combat effectiveness improvement programme has been applied to the Gepard weapon system in order to keep pace with the increasing attack capability of enemy aircraft and helicopters, guided missiles and remotely piloted vehicles in severe weather conditions and hostile electronic warfare environments.

The Dutch version of the anti-aircraft tank PRTL 35 mm GWI is based on the same system technology as the Gepard system with the exception of the radar system configuration. For this reason the combat effectiveness improvement programme was carried out and managed as a bilateral project in close co-operation with both governments.

  • The modernisation scheme involved
  • integration of C3 capabilities
  • improvement in target engagement with extended combat range, shorter reaction time and better hit and kill probability
  • improved self-protection
  • improved ergonomic system configuration
  • air conditioning of vital components and crew compartments
  • increasing of reliability, availability and system lifetime.

The main thrust of the improvement programme was the installation of new systems for the fire control, the command and control management, muzzle velocity radar measurement device and the certification for new Frangible Armour Piercing Discarding Sabot ammunition (FAPDS) rounds.

The command, control and communications network includes a new TICCS FM 9000 control system by Siemens and a new radio system, HFlaAFuSys SEM 93 from SEL Alcatel. The C3 systems for the Netherlands' Gepard is the TICCS (Target Information Command and Control System) and for the German Gepard, the HFlaAF Sys. The necessary data links are provided by new radios: SEM 93 from SEL/Alcatel (GE) and FM 9000 from Signaal.


The Gepard is equipped with eight smoke dischargers installed on either side of the turret. The smoke system has a very short reaction time and provides an extremely effective and proven screen against visual and infra-red targeting.


The Gepard is equipped with independent search and tracking radars, the search radar (S-band for the German vehicle and X-band for the Netherlands 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 degree scanning with simultane ous target tracking
  • high performance clutter suppression
  • search on the move capability l monopulse tracking mode
  • search and tracking performance under ECM conditions and clutter environment
  • built-in test equipment for search and tracking radar

The S-band tracking radar installed on the German Gepard has a range of 15 kilometres and sub-clutter visibility of 60 dB. The German Gepard tracking radar operating at Ku band has a range of 15 kilometres, and the clutter suppression is 23 dB. The PPI radar control is equipped with a 15 centimetre diameter display.

The German Army Gepard is equipped with a laser range finder.


The periscope system has a fixed monocular eyepiece. The periscope is fitted with the optics for two magnifications, x1.5 with a 50 degree field of view and x6 with a 12.5 degree field of view.


The Gepard system is operational in outside temperatures up to 46 degrees centigrade. The air conditioning system for the crew compartment and the vital sub-systems has a cooling power of 10 kW.


The Gepard's auxiliary power unit is the Daimler Benz 66 kW liquid cooled, multi-fuel, diesel engine, type OM 314. The battery power supply is rated at 24 volts DC. The generator power supply is 3x200/115 volts, at 380 Hertz providing 2x20 kVA power.