Norway-delivered Gepard SPAAG 35mm shells are useless in Ukraine

BERLIN ($1=0.98 Euros) — Another problem is pursuing the Ukrainian armed forces with some of the military equipment supplied to them. Yesterday we reported an error message in the German PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzers due to overloading. Yesterday we also made an announcement that another German vehicle – the Gepard anti-aircraft tank – also has a problem.

Photo: Roberto Caiafa

Ukraine received Norwegian-made ammunition some time ago to be used by the German-made Gepard SPAAG, also delivered in Ukraine. The reason: Germany did not have 35mm ammunition available for its Gepard SPAAGs and was forced to look abroad. Berlin even held talks with countries that have purchased this air defense system, such as Qatar and Brazil. Norway responded by saying it could produce them.

Now it turns out that the Norwegian ammunition already delivered to Ukraine is not recognized by the weapon system and it cannot fire them. Sources claim that joint tests of Gepard SPAAG ammunition and anti-aircraft self-propelled guns took place in Germany. According to them, new tests will be conducted in August after the ammunition is upgraded.

However, this could prove to be a very serious problem for the defense capabilities of the Ukrainian armed forces. They cannot currently use Norwegian ammunition. If the new munitions configuration proves successful in August, Ukraine will have to return the munitions already delivered to them back to Germany for modification. The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine and the General Staff of the Armed Forces have not yet commented on the information.

Gepard 1A2 SPAAG

Germany might deliver 35mm autocannon Gepard SPAAG to Ukraine
Photo credit: Wikipedia

This is an all-weather-capable German self-propelled anti-aircraft gun [SPAAG] at low altitude. It was developed on the chassis of the Leopard 1 tank and is equipped with 2 × 35 mm Oerlikon GDF autocannon, each with 320 rounds of anti-air ammunition and 20 rounds of anti-tank, 2 × quads 76mm smoke grenade dischargers.

Gepard 1A2 SPAAG, which has a fire control radar and a search radar, is designed to conduct air defense of troops at very close distances and altitudes. The system, which has been modernized many times before the 2000s, still functions in the inventory of many countries. The SPAAG is powered by a 10-cylinder, 37,400 cc [2,280 cu in] MTU multi-fuel engine gives a power of 830 HP [819 hp, 610 kW].

The systems removed from the Bundeswehr inventory in 2010 are now in KMW’s warehouses. It is assumed that Gepards, which will be delivered to Ukraine, will be sent from the warehouses of KMW. KMW had previously offered to send its Gepards to Ukraine, but this offer was rejected by the German government.


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