Germany Strengthens Ukraine's Defense with 3 Additional Gepard Anti-Aircraft Gun Systems

On October 20, 2023, the German Ministry of Defense announced the delivery of an additional three Gepard anti-aircraft defense vehicles to Ukraine. This brings the total number of such systems provided by Germany to Ukraine to 49, coming from both the German armed forces and the nation's defense industry.
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In total, Ukraine has now received from Germany 49 Gepard self-propelled anti-aicraft gun vehicles. (Picture source Ukraine MoD)

Germany has been actively supporting Ukraine by providing military aid, including the Gepard self-propelled anti-aircraft guns.. Germany announced the delivery of three more German-made Flakpanzer Gepard anti-aircraft guns to Ukraine. This is in addition to the 46 Gepards that were shipped earlier. In total, Germany has sent 49 Gepard systems to Ukraine. These Gepard air defense vehicles are expected to significantly bolster the Ukrainian air defense, especially in light of potential Russian attacks on Ukraine’s energy system as winter approaches.

The Gepard self-propelled air defense systems have been instrumental for Ukraine in countering Russian kamikaze and reconnaissance drones. These Gepards are highly regarded and are considered among the best self-propelled anti-aircraft guns globally. The Gepard system comprises an all-weather-capable pair of radar-guided 35-millimeter autocannons in a two-person turret mounted on a Leopard 1 tank chassis. This system was developed in the 1960s, deployed in the 1970s, and has since been updated multiple times with the latest electronics.

Historically, the Gepard has been a foundational component of the air defense for the German Army and several other NATO countries. In the current conflict, Ukraine has been relying on this weapon to counter Russian drone attacks on both civilian and military infrastructure, even those located far from the frontlines.

In preparation for potential Russian strikes on critical civilian infrastructure, Ukraine's Armed Forces have been ramping up their defenses. Andrii Yusov, a representative of Ukraine’s intelligence, warned in September that Russia was planning attacks on the Ukrainian energy system and was scouting energy facilities. The previous year, Russia had initiated a significant campaign of missile and drone strikes on Ukraine’s energy system, aiming to deprive millions of Ukrainians of heating and electricity during the winter months.

Germany's unwavering support for Ukraine is evident in its continuous military aid packages. The latest package included Gepard self-propelled air defense systems and reconnaissance drones, such as 20 RQ-35 Heidrun and Vector uncrewed aerial vehicles. Additionally, over the past week, Germany supplied Ukraine with one BEAVER bridge paver, three HX81 tractors with three semi-trailers, 13 border guard vehicles, and about 3,900 DM125 155-mm smoke artillery shells. The German government also recently announced another military aid package for Ukraine, which comprised all-terrain vehicles, satellite communications, and first aid kits.

Defense News October 2023