Monday, October 3, 2022

Not Just HIMARS, Russia Claims Wiping Out Already Failing German Gepard Anti-Aircraft Systems In Ukraine

Russian assault has intensified to unite the occupied territories of Mykolaiv and Kherson oblasts in Southern Ukraine. The Russian Ministry of Defense claimed on August 10 that their troops had destroyed German-supplied anti-aircraft systems of Ukraine.

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The Russian Defense Ministry also stated that it had shot down seven HIMARS rockets in the neighboring Kherson region and three Ukrainian fighter jets in the Mykolaiv district. EurAsian Times could not independently verify these claims.

This announcement comes just a few days after Ukraine’s State Security Service (SBU) apprehended two men it claimed were Russian intelligence officers. The two agents were responsible for identifying targets for Russian missile strikes that wrecked shipbuilding infrastructure in the southern port city of Mykolaiv.

Since the start of the conflict, Russians have damaged more than 9,100 civilian facilities in the Mykolaiv region, according to a report of the regional state administration. In addition, 106 industrial enterprises and about 1,400 electricity, water, gas, heat, and supply facilities have also been damaged.

Flakpanzer Gepard - Wikipedia
Flakpanzer Gepard – Wikipedia

The anti-aircraft system claimed to have been destroyed by the Russians is the Gepard system. The first three units of the 35mm Gepard self-propelled anti-aircraft weapons arrived in July, according to Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Resnikov.

The first three units of the Gepards arrived accompanied by numerous tens of thousands of ammunition, Resnikov said on a Ukrainian television program, according to the Spiegel newspaper.

Even though it is not verified whether the Russian troops have destroyed the Gepard self-propelled anti-aircraft weapon, EurAsian times had earlier reported that German artillery and anti-aircraft guns were failing in Ukraine due to heavy wear and tear and incompatible alternative ammunition.

The Gepard Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft Gun (SPAAG) twin-barrel 35mm system is incompatible with the Norwegian ammunition. The Gepard units were decommissioned some time ago by the German Army, and there was no more ammunition in stock available for their 35mm guns.

Gepard Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft Gun

The Gepard is an all-weather tank that can be deployed against both ground and air targets. It is equipped with two 35 mm Oerlikon KDA automatic guns, each of which can fire 550 rounds per minute and have an effective range of up to four kilometers.

A quick-turn turret houses the weapons, ammo, and sensors for detection and aiming. To effectively shield the armored forces from Soviet helicopters and ground attack aircraft, it was mounted on the chassis of a Leopard 1 medium tank.

Its function is to defend troops, fighting units, and essential installations against aerial assaults. The Gepard’s ammunition load includes 40 armor-piercing rounds against ground targets and 640 armor-piercing-incendiary rounds for use against air targets.

Tracking radar is positioned between the guns, and general search radar is positioned at the back of the turret roof. A friend-or-foe recognition system is installed in the car.

The Gepard’s radar has a 15 kilometers range and offers simultaneous target tracking and all-around scanning. The vehicle can conduct mobile searches. Additionally, this SPAAG has a fire suppression system.

Suppose the Gepard model Ukraine received is the 1A2 (the most recent model used by the German Army) — in that case, it should be able to fire the AHEAD programmed ammunition, making it a fantastic tool for taking down low-flying drones, says Aviacionline.

The Gepard has a crew of three, including a commander, gunner, and driver. Gepard 1A2, an upgraded variant with the new fire control system, has increased range and reduced reaction time. The Gepard 1A2 also uses new ammunition, while Gepard CA1, a Dutch variant, is fitted with a different radar.

High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) | Lockheed Martin
High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS)

Besides the Gepard, the Russian Defense Ministry has also claimed the destruction of seven HIMARS. This news comes after the US announced additional HIMARS for Ukraine in its latest $1 billion military aid to Ukraine.

The Multiple Rocket Launch System has allowed Ukraine to get back into the war and wreak havoc on Russian positions and infrastructure.

In a press briefing, the Russian Defense Ministry said that Russian forces had destroyed an ammunition depot near Uman’s central Ukrainian city, storing US-made HIMARS missiles and M777 howitzers.

In addition, a Russian military analyst Alexei Leonkov said, “the United States is beginning to limit the list of future arms supplies to Ukraine.”

Regarding HIMARS, the US had “planned 20, and delivered 16.” If there is truth in the Russian claims, it is a tough road ahead for Ukraine, with HIMARS being the most potent weapon against Russia.

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