Flakpanzer Gepard self-propelled anti-aircraft gun (SPAAG)
Flakpanzer Gepard self-propelled anti-aircraft gun (SPAAG)

US Department of Defense to Purchase Jordanian Flakpanzer Gepard SPAAGs for Ukraine

Global Military Products Inc, Tampa, Florida, was awarded an $118,375,740 firm-fixed-price contract for the purchase and delivery of Flakpanzer Gepard 35 mm self-propelled anti-aircraft gun (SPAAG). Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. Work will be performed in Amman, Jordan, with an estimated completion date of May 30, 2024. Fiscal 2010 Foreign Military Sales (Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative) funds in the amount of $118,375,740 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Newark, New Jersey, is the contracting activity. The Gepard has seen combat in the Russo-Ukrainian War.

The Flakpanzer Gepard (anti-aircraft-gun tank Cheetah, better known as the Flugabwehrkanonenpanzer Gepard) is an all-weather-capable German self-propelled anti-aircraft gun (SPAAG). It was developed in the 1960s, fielded in the 1970s, and has been upgraded several times with the latest electronics. It has been a cornerstone of the air defence of the German Army (Bundeswehr) and a number of other NATO countries. In Germany, the Gepard was phased out in late 2010 and replaced by the Wiesel 2 Ozelot Leichtes Flugabwehrsystem (LeFlaSys) with four FIM-92 Stinger or LFK NG missile launchers.

A Dutch Flakpanzer Gepard (Cheetah PRTL) self-propelled anti-aircraft gun (SPAAG) seen during an exercise in 1990. (Photo by Dutch Ministry of Defense)

The guns are 90 calibres (3.15 m (10 ft 4 in)) long, with a muzzle velocity of 1,440 m/s (4,700 ft/s) (FAPDS (Frangible Armour Piercing Discarding Sabot) rounds), giving an effective range of 5.5 km (3.4 mi). The ammunition is 35×228mm calibre (STANAG 4516). The KDA autocannon has a dual belt feed for two different ammunition types; the usual loading per gun is 320 AA rounds fed from inside the turret and 20 AP rounds fed from a small outlying storage. Each gun has a firing rate of 550 rounds/min. The combined rate of fire is 1,100 rounds/min, gives a continuous fire time of 35 seconds before running out of ammunition (with 640 AA rounds for both guns).

The Netherlands ordered 95 Flakpanzer Gepard (designated Cheetah PRTL or Pantser Rups Tegen Luchtdoelen), split into three batches (CA1, CA2 and CA3). There are two variants of Gepard in service; the Dutch variant has a different radar installation which were equipped with Philips radar systems. 95 self-propelled anti-aircraft guns withdrawn from service and placed in storage as of 2006. Jordan in 2013 bought 60 Gepard self-propelled anti-aircraft guns from retired Dutch surplus for 21 million dollars. In May 2023, it was reported that an unknown number has been purchased by the U.S. for 118 million dollars to be delivered May 30, 2024.