In a significant move, the German Ministry of Defense has announced the delivery of three additional Gepard anti-aircraft defense vehicles to Ukraine on October 20, 2023. This brings the total number of Gepard systems provided by Germany to Ukraine to 49, a testament to Germany’s unwavering support for Ukraine’s defense. These systems, consisting of both German armed forces and domestically produced equipment, are set to play a crucial role in strengthening Ukraine’s air defense capabilities.
Germany’s assistance to Ukraine has been instrumental, with the provision of Gepard self-propelled anti-aircraft guns being a notable highlight. These three new additions come in addition to the 46 Gepards sent earlier. With a total of 49 Gepard systems supplied, Ukraine is poised to bolster its air defense, a crucial move as the threat of potential Russian attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure looms, particularly with the winter season approaching.
The Gepard self-propelled air defense systems have proven invaluable in Ukraine’s defense efforts, especially against Russian kamikaze and reconnaissance drones. These Gepards are held in high regard and are regarded as among the world’s finest self-propelled anti-aircraft guns. The Gepard system features a pair of radar-guided 35-millimeter autocannons mounted in a two-person turret on a Leopard 1 tank chassis. Originally developed in the 1960s, deployed in the 1970s, it has seen multiple electronic updates to remain cutting-edge.
Traditionally a cornerstone of air defense for the German Army and various NATO nations, the Gepard has found renewed importance in Ukraine’s conflict, where it plays a crucial role in countering Russian drone attacks on civilian and military targets, even those situated far from the frontlines.
Anticipating potential Russian strikes on vital civilian infrastructure, Ukraine’s Armed Forces have been fortifying their defenses. Andrii Yusov, a representative of Ukraine’s intelligence, issued warnings in September regarding Russia’s plans to target Ukraine’s energy system and conduct reconnaissance on energy facilities. In the preceding year, Russia initiated an extensive campaign of missile and drone attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, aiming to disrupt heating and electricity for millions of Ukrainians during the winter months.
Germany’s enduring support for Ukraine is evident through its continuous supply of military aid. The recent package included Gepard self-propelled air defense systems, as well as reconnaissance drones like the RQ-35 Heidrun and Vector uncrewed aerial vehicles. Additionally, Germany delivered a BEAVER bridge paver, three HX81 tractors with semi-trailers, 13 border guard vehicles, and approximately 3,900 DM125 155-mm smoke artillery shells over the past week. Furthermore, the German government has unveiled another military aid package for Ukraine, encompassing all-terrain vehicles, satellite communications equipment, and first aid kits.”