Germany to send Gepard vehicles to Ukraine
The German Minister of Defence, Christine Lambrecht announced on 26 April export approval of Gepard self-propelled guns to Ukraine in order to support its fight against Russia's invasion.
It is the first time Germany will provide heavy military equipment to Ukrainian Armed Forces since the conflict started.
Featuring the engine and chassis of the Leopard 1, Gepard is equipped with an onboard radar and two 35-mm weapons. It can provide protection to ground troops from low-flying aircraft and helicopters in addition to engaging ground targets.
Gepard was among the main systems operated by the German Army's Anti-Aircraft Force until the unit was dissolved and the platform was retired in 2010.
Shephard Defence Insight notes that the vehicle was developed in the 1960s to meet a German Army requirement for a self-propelled anti-aircraft gun that could support its armoured forces.
The first of 420 systems entered service in 1975. During the Cold War, Gepard was employed at the divisional level, with each armoured and mechanized division receiving an air defence regiment equipped with 36 Gepard vehicles.
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