Friday, August 31, 2012

Mark 1

The Mark I was a British tank of the First World War and is considered the world's first operational tank model.

Mark I
9,9/8,5 m
4,17 m
2,44 m
28/27 t
6–10 mm
Main armament
two 6-pounder cannons (Male)
Secondary armament
four machine guns ("time"), and six machine guns ("Female")
78 kW (106 PS)
Top speed
6 km / h
Power / weight
2.8 kW / ton (3.8 ton HP /)
36 km


All proposals of civilian specialists to introduce an armored fighting machine were rejected before the First World War. After the start of the war grave itself, the British officer Ernest Dunlop Swinton working to develop a similar concept. His plans, however, were in the first instance by the General Staff and the Minister of War Lord Kitchener refused. After Swinton had made ​​his political influence, he was able to push through a test of a sample vehicle combination. This failed, however. So the tank development would probably come to a halt, if not later prime minister and former Navy Minister Winston Churchill had taken the initiative. The energetic politician described the armor design unceremoniously as land ship and thus falling under the Department of the Navy. Sun Churchill trained naval officers and civilians, the Committee for country vessels . From the 17th September 1915 built Lieutenant Walter Gordon Wilson, the final prototype , later, Mother called. As the technical concept of the machine took shape, the committee received in December 1915, the code name for the Committee to provide tanks , hence the English word use today tank .

The lives of the crews

Which was still in development technology demanded the eight-man crew to the utmost.But the control of the tank was a difficult task. The wooden chassis was placed at the rear to control unfit and was omitted from the November, 1916. Keep using the chain brake the course proved to be superhuman task, since this forces more soldiers were needed. As the only way the decoupling showed each a chain via a secondary gear to rotate the tank in a given direction. But even that was difficult because the instructions of the commander could be mediated only by knocking of a hammer, for the engines of the war machine produced a noise that drowned inside every human sound. These heavy labor in the belly of the monster was to perform at temperatures up to 50 ° C, partly, the temperatures high enough to ignite the ammunition was.

Also exhaust fumes and powder penetrated the unprotected interior and made the work of the first tank crews even more unbearable. A demarcated space for ammunition and provisions were not provided, so that about slipping ballast posed a constant risk of injury. When shelling could splinter or rivets flying around inside, the tank crews were therefore protected with heavy leather helmets, coats and face coverings.

Tactical concepts

The British armored doctrine of World War I put on a joint use of two versions. Armored type Male (Male) as a combined should MG / gun -carriers fortified positions of the enemy dig. The pure version of the MG-carrier female (female) should thereby the necessary coverage against attacking infantry offer. Serious danger threatened the tanks mainly by the German artillery , which could combat firing over open sights, the tank effectively, but also machine-gun fire, which was concentrated at one point, could penetrate the armor.Therefore Swinton proposed as a new main task of their own guns before fighting enemy artillery positions. To this end, he also encouraged the bombing by Royal Flying Corps in which he is another element of the later Blitzkrieg concept vorzeichnete. However you measure yourself builder of the new weapon to only limited strategic value, thus characterized the British officer in the tanks of a study of 1916 as follows:
" It seems that the tanks are an auxiliary force of infantry, so they must be expected to use in the infantry and are under the same command. "- Swinton, ED: Eyewitness.Hodder & Stoughton, 1932, page 214

The first use - Flers 1916

The newly formed tank weapon was used in the year of their appearance only twice, on 15 September for the first time, all 49 vehicles available at Flers . Contrary to the ideas of its creator, the new war machines were not held back until you in large numbers could launch an offensive and the gun was sufficiently tested.

Thus, the first use of many failures were characterized by mechanical damage. Even if the few tanks that could break through the German lines proved to be effective, they were for a decisive blow far too few. The German General Staff was indeed moved by the new weapon in considerable anxiety, but had the Entente Powers playful element of surprise.Since the tanks were up on another small bet a few days later no longer used in the same year, the Germans got time to adjust to the new technology of the opponent. British tanks were captured during the Battle of Reims in 1918 by the Germans, with their emblems used provided against the Allies.


28 t
27 t
32 '6 "(≈ 9.9 m with steering wheel), 26' 5" (8.05 m ≈ without steering wheel)
32 '6 "(≈ 9.9 m with steering wheel), 26' 5" (8.05 m ≈ without steering wheel)
13 '9 "(≈ 4.17 m)
13 '9 "(≈ 4.17 m)
8 "(≈ 2.44 m)
8 "(≈ 2.44 m)
a gasoline engine with 105 bhp (≈ 106 bhp)
a gasoline engine with 105 bhp (≈ 106 bhp)
Chain width
52 cm
52 cm
Top speed
ca. 6 km / h
ca. 6 km / h
Tank volume
227 l
227 l
36 km
36 km
two QF-6-pounder cannons and four .303 machine guns
six machine guns
6–10 mm
6–10 mm
eight men
eight men


The only remaining Mark I is now at the Bovington Tank Museum . He probably served during World War II as a tank driving school.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Half-track (Halbkettenfahrzeug)

A half-track is a vehicle that is both normal wheels as well as a chain chassis similar to a tank has. Mostly, these vehicles have a normal steered front axle and chassis instead of a chain of one or more rear axles . They are usually one of the tractors expected.

By combining chain chassis and steering axis is greater off-road capability than the pure wheeled vehicle reached. Manufacture and technology are again simpler than for pure tracked vehicle .

High expectations were 20th in the first half of the Century set in this technique. The French manufacturer Citroën crossed with halftracks 1922, the Sahara , 1924/25 Africa ( Croisière Noire ) and 1931/32 Asia ( Croisière Jaune ). After World War II half-track vehicles have become quite rare, in some cases they are even to be found in agriculture in mountainous regions.

The German army used in the Second World War, many half-track vehicles, such as the armored cars of Hanomag , for economic reasons: A half-track is cheaper than a full-tracked vehicle, on the other hand, however, take a much larger payload than a wheeled vehicle. This pretty light on vehicle designs can even guns (anti-tank guns, anti-aircraft machine guns) are placed, the stop the vehicle even at short firing only moderately shaken. Artillery tractors, which did not have to drive very fast, could attract much larger trailer loads, which in turn allowed the carriage to be drawn from the guns to construct optimal. Especially heavy loads can attract as easier as a rear chain Chassis greater traction can be achieved.

Halftracks initially had no traction seitendifferenzierbare (those necessary for a full-tracked vehicle for steering), but were controlled only with the front tires. An exception was the German half-tracks of World War II, because the steering only by the front axle in the area turned out to be totally inadequate. The benefits that have been achieved through reduced material cost of manufacturing, lower fuel consumption and wear and tear, but was the more involved maintenance of the wheel / chain system in the field opposite.

The Air Force used during the Second World War by the NSU built Kettenkrad as a tractor to move aircraft between shelters and waiting positions.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Anti-aircraft cannon tank Gepard

The anti-aircraft cannon tank Gepard (german for Cheetah) (FlakPz Gepard) is an autonomous, all-weather combat-capable FlaK tanks from German production.
Antiaircraft cannon tank Gepard 1A2
Main Features
3 (driver, gunner, commander)
7.68 m (length of the turret at 12 o 'clock position)
3,71 m
3.29 m (radar stowed)
47,5 t
Armor and armament
conventional steel armor
Main armament
2 × 35-mm-L/90- Maschinenkanonen OERLIKON-kDa
mit 2 × 320 Patronen FAPDS
(light targeds)
und 2 × 20 Patronen HVAPDS-T
(heavy amored targeds)
Smoke grenade
10-cylinder-37, 4 liter MTU - multi-fuel engine
with 2 mechanical chargers
610 kW (830 hp)
Torsion bar
Top speed
65 km / h (road)
Power / weight
12,8 kW/t
about 550 km (by road)
Ground clearance
0,50 m

Already developed in the 1970s and produced for a long time he made ​​a cornerstone of the air defense of the army, the Bundeswehr and other states.


  • 1 Background
  • 2 History and variants
    • 2.1 Development
    • 2.2 Production
    • 2.3 Combat gains
    • 2.4 Overview of variants
      • 2.4.1 Germany and Belgium
      • 2.4.2 The Netherlands
  • 3 Structure and Systems
    • 3.1 Chassis
    • 3.2 Turm
    • 3.3 Electronics and Fire Control System
      • 3.3.1 Radaranlagen
      • 3.3.2 Optical reconnaissance
      • 3.3.3 fire control system and calculator
    • 3.4 Armament
      • 3.4.1 guns
      • 3.4.2 Munition
      • 3.4.3 Self-defense
    • 3.5 Miscellaneous
    • 3.6 Further developments
  • 4 operations center and fire fighting
    • 4.1 target reconnaissance, detection and tracking
    • 4.2 Combating
    • 4.3 use against ground targets
  • 5 Cheetah 1 A2
  • 6 Education and Training in the army
  • 7 Use in foreign armed forces
  • 8 Political controversy and future
  • 9 Similar systems


Cheetah B2 accompany Leopard 1 at the NATO maneuvers REFORGER 1985

The cheetah is primarily designed for the tactical part of the combined arms combat the moving armored and mechanized infantry troops of the Armed Forces protection against low-flying aircraft to enter and attack helicopters. He owns about his battlefield mobility and motor performance properties comparable to those used at the time, or standing in the developing tank Leopard 1 , Marder and Jaguar . The cheetah was also used for the physical protection of high-quality stationary targets such as airfields or bridges. According to the operational doctrine of the Cold War, he can under ABC's full protection can be used.
The selection of weapons into account in particular the fight against heavily armored attack helicopters such as the Mil Mi-24 "Hind" , its armor provides effective protection against projectiles up to a caliber of 23 millimeters (mm).
The cheetah was on another NATO member states such as the Netherlands , Belgium and finally Romania delivered. The Russian equivalent of the cheetah would be the air defense ZSU-23-4 "Shilka" , which was developed a decade earlier, but not the performance in target acquisition, fire control and target engagement during the journey reached,  the development Tunguska M-1from the 1980s and the more modern Panzir-S1 system, with the latter two, however, combined with systems constitute tube and missile armament. Even over 30 years after its first commissioning is found particularly in the western states no equivalent.

History and variants


The development of the Cheetah goes on studies of "Flakpanzer 2" back to 1965. He was the U.S. M42 Duster , due to the lack of radar could replace only fight optically detectable targets directly.
1967/68 there were various studies and development projects, including from Bofors with a 40-mm twin cannon. With the model hero, armed with two 30-mm cannons, Rheinmetall (Armament and tower), AEG-Telefunken (competedtracking radar and computer), Siemens ( search radar ) and Porsche (development and tower). A competitive model came from the group Oerlikon Contraves Albis and was equipped with a 35-mm twin cannon. Although the caliber of 35 mm was unusual at the time, stood in comparison quickly discovered that it had a lower risk of development and significant advantages in fire fighting by the larger caliber, also showed the Dutch army interest in 35-mm system. After delays in the development of the hero and because of the tight budget situation , it was decided in the Ministry of Defence on 25 June 1970, to discontinue the program Matador. The development was now based on the 35-mm cannon Oerlikon and the subsequent radar from the Matador project as FlakPz 35 mm, of the 1973 officially in the army under name Cheetah renamed.


The tank was built air defense in a joint project with Krauss-Maffei general contractor responsible for the mass production and the chassis was. The development to series production of the entire system was in Zurich Oerlikon Contraves (now part of Rheinmetall ) transferred. Other companies manufacture components in the following work packages: Blohm + Voss in Hamburg delivered tower and hull casings, Siemens-Albis manufactured the fire control and radar equipment, and the fire-Contraves. Final assembly of the tower took Wegmann who delivered him to the final assembly of Krauss-Maffei.
First, four prototypes were (designation B built), the subsequent fifth prototype (label C ) was destined for the Netherlands and was equipped with a Dutch search radar. The German Army ordered 1,973 additional twelve pre-production models (designation B1 and B2R ) of the cheetah, the modified radar equipment had (another search radar and pulse Doppler tracking radar), and in the same year 420 Series models (designation B2 ). On 16 December 1976, the first cheetah was the army air defense troops passed the Bundeswehr. Overall, from 1976 to October 1980 432 FlakPz Cheetah delivered to the German Army, which, eleven antiaircraft regiments fitted out with 36 FlaKPz. The regiments were then shooting of six batteries of six tanks.
The Koninklijke land power (the Dutch army) 1973 ordered five more pre-production models (name CA ) with a modified search radar (made by Philips ) and then 95 series models (designation CA1 and CA3 ), which were delivered by 1977 to 1979.
In April 1973, decided the Belgian armed forces , not the Dutch version of CA1 to buy, but the cheaper German version B2 . On 21 May 1973 gave Krauss-Maffei, the tender documents, on the 19th December adopted 1973rd On 4 April 1974 saw the appointment of 55 Cheetah in the configuration of the army, without ever having given their own prototype. 27 of which were equipped with laser range finders. The deliveries took place from December 1976 to February 1980.
The complexity of the cheetah with its electronics, radar and fire control systems will significantly compared to the purchase price of a Leopard 1 A4, in 1976 about 1.7 million DM , while that of the cheetah B2 cost DM 5.4 million.

FlaK Panzer Gepard B2L

Combat performance upgrades

From 1988, 206 by the Bundeswehr with a laser rangefinder equipped and were designated B2L. During 1997 to 2000 it was 147 FlakPz a life extension (NDV) is subjected, after the combat efficiency for Cheetah 2 turned out to be too costly. The Netherlands also participated with 60 vehicles on the NDV, which is identical except for radar, radios as well as the guidance system.
It included in the army installation of improved digital computer for the fire control system, measures to ensure the supportability, the connection to the army air defense reconnaissance and battle-management system ( HFlaAFüSys ) with scaffolding improved data radios type SEM 93 (transmitter / receiver, mobile 93) , and in particular the provision of the new FAPDS ammunition with much greater range and higher muzzle velocity.
Is this a FlakPz Gepard 1A2. According to the structural design in the German army, the Indian valley below a reduced number of still 85 FlakPz 1A2 was provided as the core of the air defense over the year 2015, until the planned system of air defense is introduced to the troops.  Due to the saving of the Bundeswehr was the "phase-out", ie with the decommissioning, as early as 2010 began.

Overview of variants

Germany and Belgium

Prototyp 1 Gen. SR: X-Band, FR: Diversity Frequenz Ku-Band
first prototypes
Prototyp 2. Gene. SR: S-Band
Prototype with a modified search radar
Vorserie FR: Pulsdoppler, Conical Scan Ku-Band
Pre-production model with pulse Doppler tracking radar
Vorserie FR: Pulse Doppler, Mono Pulse Ku-Band
Pre-production model with a modified pulse Doppler tracking radar
Series 1. The SR: S-Band optimiert
Production version of the Cheetah
B2 series with laser range finder
Version of the cheetah on the installation of the laser rangefinder
FlakPz combat performance increased
proposed version of the cheetah to the combat efficiency (not adopted)
B2L ​​for life extension (NDV)
last version of the cheetah in the army after the NDV


Prototype SR: X-Band, integr. MTI, FR: Pulse Doppler X-Band
Prototype of the cheetah for the Netherlands
Preproduction SR: modularity
Pre-series with modified radar configuration
FR Series: Pulse Doppler X-Band, Ka-Band Pulse
Production version of the Dutch Cheetah
CA1 by Life Extension
last version of the Cheetah after NDV

SR = Suchradar, FR = Folgeradar, MTI = Moving Target Indication

Structure and Systems


Cheetah engine with davit, in the foreground, the exhaust system with air infiltration

The cheetah is based on a slightly modified chassis of the battle tank Leopard 1, of the complete drive unit with the 37.4  liter big 10-cylinder multi-fuel engine (type: MB 838 CaM 500 ) from MTU with two  mechanical chargers were taken . The as-built V-engine with a cylinder angle of 90 degrees engine develops 610 kW at 2200 1/min (830 hp) and consumes according to the nature of the surface and depends on the driving style around 150 liters per 100 kilometers (l/100 km). To ensure a steady supply of oil even in difficult terrain and under extreme skew, the engine has a dry sump forced lubrication equipped. The gear (type:  4 HP-250 ) of ZF Friedrichshafen and the exhaust system with air infiltration, reducing the infrared signature were adopted from the Leopard first
At the site of the second ammunition magazine of the battle tank was installed, however, the FlaK Panzer Front left in the tub the supplementary motor (CM) for the power supply system (EVA). The 4-cylinder diesel engine of Daimler-Benz (Type: OM 314 ) is also designed as a multi-fuel engine, with a displacement of 3.8 l 66 kW (90 hp) and consumes depends on application status of the carapace between 10 and 20 liters per hour (l / h). ZM is coupled with a transfer case in which at different speeds five generators are operated: Two Metadyn machines in tandem with mass (which is used as energy storage at the acceleration and deceleration of the tower) for the power supply of the vertical and lateral lining drives, two 380 - Hz - AC generators with a capacity of 20 kVA for ventilation, fire control and radar systems, as well as a 300-A-28-V dc generator for the onboard power supply. The tank capacity is 985 liters of the cheetah and sufficient for a combined operating time of approximately 48 hours.
The chassis and the track were taken directly from the Leopard first It's a torsion bar spring mounted support roller drive with seven pairs of rollers. They are connected to the torsion bars on swing arms, whose deflection is limited by volute springs. The shock , however, were modified to achieve better stability during fire fighting.  The chain is one of the company Diehl made ​​rubber mounted with chain pads fitted, living Endverbinderkette (Type: D 640 A ), ie, the chain links with a certain prestress interconnected by the bolts, with which the individual elements are connected to each other are molded with rubber into the sockets.
The modification of the well is clearly among others in a modified roller distance (8 cm increased distance between the third and fourth roller) and the shift of additional batteries in battery boxes at the stern. The batteries and thus the electrical system work with 24 volt DC power .
The tub itself is made ​​of welded steel armor and has only a single layer armor . While the front armor is 70 mm thick and corresponds to the 30 degree inclination of a breakdown length of 140 mm, the sides, bottom and rear armor is only between 20 and 30 mm thick. The fight and the machine room, for reasons of fire safety separated by a transverse bulkhead of each other. Due to the use of an original for a main battle tank developed trough the armor in the pan for an FlaK-tank still is unusually strong, which is the relatively high overall weight considerably, which is still above the Leopard first

Driver's hatch closed driver backrest, three periscopes and the MLC-labeling

The driver of the cheetah sitting in the front right corner of the tub. Does the cheetah with open hatch and driver protection screen, for security reasons, the rotation of the tower is blocked, but the driver has the best overview. With enclosed operator guard the visibility for the driver is limited, but the cheetah is fully operational. With a closed hatch to the driver via three angle mirror orientation. The mean angle of the mirror can be through an image intensifier to be replaced, what enables the cheetah in a position at night without dipped headlights or Tarnlicht to be laid.
From the driving position, the filter of the NBC protection and ventilation system are available, which are installed in space before the auxiliary motor in the tub. Ventilation sucks the outside air and passes it through various filters (including active carbon ) in the interior. The protection system generates in the tank one pressure to prevent the uncontrolled flow of potentially contaminated outside air, and enables a service life of up to 48 hours under NBC full protection. The ventilation system was in the life extension complemented by a 10-kW air conditioning, which can be used up to an ambient temperature of 46 ° C.


The configured as 2-man turret tower weighs just over 15 tons of ammunition. It is lightly armored and protects against shrapnel and rifle ammunition, but of machine guns , shaped charge ammunition and kinetic energy projectiles penetrate easily. The tower bears the complete weapons and radar systems, the electronics with the fire control and the entire supply of ammunition.The commander (left seat) and the gunner (right seat) are seated in the driving direction right shoulder to shoulder, side by side.

View of the tower from the rear left with gun

Due to its use of task that involves, among other low-flying aircraft and helicopter combat, are the tower and the weapons very dynamic and are therefore no different than most tanks hydraulically but over Metadynen ( Ward Leonard converters ) of very strong electric motors driven. The transmission of electrical energy from the generators and control signals to the tower viaslip rings manufacturer slip ring and equipment .
The tower is so in less than 2.5 seconds once rotated 360 ° and the weapon system in just 1.5 seconds pivoted 90 ° up or down. As commander and gunner sit almost directly on the axis of rotation of the tower, they feel the fast rotation inside and hardly be unaffected in the precise and fast operation of the systems. Through the tower is accessed by a secure on safety door switch inside the armored tank to the driver of the cheetah (only at 12 o 'clock position of the tower possible) and the emergency hatch in the tank bottom, which is located behind the driver's seat. The safety switch blocked while the rotation of the tower and protects the tank crew from being crushed when passing through the door to be.
Most of the controls for the turret crew takes on five control panels, one in the middle panel (panel 3), mainly from the screen of the search radar and console 4 taken at gun-view the result of the radar.

Electronics and Fire Control System


For target reconnaissance, the cheetah has a fold-down on the turret rear omnidirectional radar with six selectable frequencies and high data rate (60 rpm). In the army of the products manufactured by Siemens type MPDR 12 in the S-band and with horizontal polarization , side lobe suppression and integrated secondary radar (type: MSR 400 Mk XII ) for the Friend or Foe (English Identification Friend Foe / IFF) used; The range is 15 kilometers. The search radar can also be operated during running of the tank, so as to ensure the monitoring of the air space in the transfer.
erect search radar in the version of the German and Belgian Cheetah

Tracking radar of the cheetah with mounted laser rangefinder

Centered on the turret front, the tracking radar is located (in the army in the Ku-band ) with a range of 15 kilometers, two frequencies and phase detector. It is designed as a monopulse antenna, which means that under the radome four horns are that emit the signal.  The following radar swings for target acquisition independently and after the fight again to the bullet-sensitive radar antenna and the laser rangefinder to the top of the sequence radar is mounted to protect. As with the tower or other rotating devices, the transmission of power, signals and other media is (for example, compressed air) through slip rings, in the case of the sequence radar a 225-way slip ring. Both radars operate completely independently of each other, have, because of the interpretation as Pulse-Doppler radar is a very good noise suppression against echoes (English Clutter ) and electronic countermeasures (English Electronic Counter Measures / ECM) and are self-diagnostic systems ( BITE equipped = built in test equipment) for the electronics and radar.  The display panel on the search radar is part 3 on a 15-cm radar screen and is as PPI Scope executed.
Frequency band
15 km
15 km
60 1/min
60 1/min
60 dB
43 dB
Antenna gain
ca. 23 dB
ca. 23 dB
selectable frequencies
Secondary Radar

Frequency band
X / Ka-Band
15 km
13 km
selectable frequencies
Clutter suppression
ca. 23 dB
ca. 30 dB

Optical reconnaissance

Alternatively destinations are targeted via two optical Panoramaperiskope, such as failure of the subsequent radar or to intrude on a target, without betraying by the emission of radar radiation to their own location. By the two independent periscopes , it is also possible to combat a target, and at the same time to follow a further object or optically monitor the airspace and ground during the follow-up and control. The periscopes can range from 1.5 - to 6-fold magnification ( field of view 50 ° and 12.5 °) are switched and have defogger reticle illumination and wipers with washer system.
The tracking radar is further coupled to the periscopes of the commander and the indicative gunner, in the target collection, over is radar periscope of the gunner first automatically aligned to the target, the target tracking in addition to monitor visually or to the goal at fault for the IFF system identify.

Mouth of the cannon left with v 0 -spee

Fire control system and calculator

Because of the ballistic trajectory of the ammunition and the possible long distance to fast-moving aerial targets a precise calculation of the weapon system for effective fire fighting is required.
Starting from the above gyroscopes determined spatial position (inclination angle and direction) of the tank and the distance to the target is calculated the angle of rotation of the fire control of the tower and the angle of elevation of the weapons. In dependence on the determined speed, flight path, altitude and the distance of the flight destination of the required article and derivative determined. To improve the accuracy further, meteorological parameters such as air temperature and pressure, wind speed and direction are input current.
By measuring the muzzle velocity (v 0 ) is a current average speed of projectiles, it is determined and included in the Feuerleitrechnung corrects weapon orientation accordingly. This adjustment is necessary because with every shot, the gun barrels are made ​​warm and small variations in the ammunition, leading to different rates. To keep the calculation stable, the weapons computer will assume that the next bullet fired behaves very similar to the last.
The fire control for up to six different operating modes with up to three sub-modes, which depends on the threat situation, such as helicopters, and the technical status, as in the failure of a computer or the weapons radar can be selected. For example, in the mode will helicopter the laser rangefinder is activated, and thus simplifies the Feuerleitrechnung accelerated and fired more ammunition to combat the immediate threat of a rising above the treetops attack helicopter.
Target data can also be received from an external fire control and fed into the fire control. Determining a distance up to 5500 meters using the laser (Laser Type Nd: YAG laser ) is possible since version B2L and increases the accuracy of Feuerleitrechnung because the distance calculation is more accurate than the radar.
As part of the NDV to Version 1 A2 of the cheetah, a new digital, was of EADS sophisticated weaponry computer installed. The computer uses 32-bit -68020 processors from Motorola with coprocessor and provides an interface for Command, Control and Communications (C3), that is a connection to military infrastructure systems. Was also a GPS -system (Type: PLGR 95) is installed, which supports the vehicle navigation system and the antenna was placed on the tower.


Rights weapon with open arms ceiling and two shot belted dummy


The 35-mm twin cannons KDA L/90 Oerlikon are the only offensive armament of the tank represents the type used is a gas-operated with the shot rigidly locked action and a gauge length of 90, which means that the tube is 3150 mm long (3710 mm with v 0 -gauge).
The ignition of the cartridge is done mechanically by a firing pin . The entire weapon system is lafettiert the sides of the tower and non-stabilized, whereby a fire during the drive leads to a greater variation in the target, but in principle is possible. The elevation range of the weapon is -10 ° to +85 °. Each gun can be enabled, be stretched and relaxed to interference with the one weapon, such as ignition or feeding to continue firing at the other can. The weapon system disorders occur most often with blank ammunition, while the weapon system with combat ammunition is very reliable.

Left arms case with ejection for the chord members (top center) and the magazine cover for the soil target ammunition (in front of it)
In normal operation of both weapons are fired in the burst in the equal exchange (right-left-right-left, etc.) to achieve a higher level in the target concentration and thus increase the probability of a hit. This leads to slightly perceptible lateral vibrations of the tower, but these have no effect on the point of impact. Therate of fire of 550 rounds per minute per gun, resulting in a total rate of fire of 1,100 rounds per minute. The cheetah would thus be in a position to complete the supply of ammunition in less than forty seconds sustained fire to use up. The output of the chord members is effected laterally upwardly over two ejector while the cartridge cases are ejected into the gun downward. To avoid that these cartridges jammed between turret and hull, thus hindering the turret rotation, the cheetah is equipped around the tower with Hülsenabweisblechen to reduce the gap size.


The combat ammunition against air and ground targets is slight in Endless Zerfallgurt (Type: DM70 ) stored in two separate containers for weapons munitions in the tower region, which is located within the well, and therefore is well protected. The two ammunition bunkers are separated from the fighting compartment with removable lids and take the ammo in S-shaped loops. They each hold 320 shot destination ammunition sufficient normally to fight more than 25 destinations. The ammunition against heavily armored ground targets ( HVAPDS T ) is located on the other hand in an unarmoured magazine on the outside of each weapon and take 20 shots each. She is rolled when Resupply spiral. For the full Resupply the cheetah itself requires a well-rehearsed team about 15 minutes to an hour, as well as opening the ammunition trains (eight cartridges) and the new chord members for connecting the endless belt is necessary.
The switching of the ammunition flight between target and ground target ammunition takes the gunner. Means of a simple toggle switch, the ammunition feed is switched electromechanically in the weapon. This takes less than a second. As against Gefechtsmix destinations in the army, including the version B2L was a mix of explosive incendiary ammunition (HEI) and armored explosive incendiary ammunition ( SAPHEI ) Taped 3 to 1. These types of ammunition had a muzzle velocity of 1175 meters per second (m / s) and a combined charge-delay fuse with self-destruct to avoid collateral damage , that is, the ammunition exploded automatically after a preset time when the detonator was not triggered otherwise. The engagement range was 3500 meters. At the time of decommissioning used the German Gepard 1A2 new FAPDS ammunition that a V 0 reaches of at least 1400 m / s. The effective range against air targets has been increased so significantly and amounted up to 5000 meters and 3500 meters altitude.

Smoke grenade on the right side of the turret


For self-protection, the German Gepard has a pulse-controlled 76-mm smoke grenade from Wegmann with eight tubes. While four tubes are attached to both sides of the tower. In the army next to the personal equipment of the crew (two pistols are P8 and a submachine gun M2 ) in use even hand grenades and two thermite carried to the armor and the weapon system necessary to render it unusable.


The cheetah is without any additional equipment is able to cross water. To achieve the Tiefwatfähigkeit required crew about 10 minutes. After turning on the hydraulic submersible, switching the air supply for the drive and the inflation of the seals of the tower, he can dip so until almost to the bottom of water bodies and weapons they traverse. During this phase, it is no longer able to carry the fire fighting. The Flakpanzer, in contrast to Leopard 1 and Leopard 2 with additional equipment not disappear completely.


Krauss-Maffei Wegmann , today as a merged company of the two original main producer is developing a missile system as additional armament for the cheetah. The system is based on the U.S. FIM-92 Stinger missile, which is already being used in the combined use of the army air defense troops. A twin Stinger system should do to be mounted laterally to the right 35-mm cannon.
In addition, the cheetah can today via an external control center can be remotely controlled for asset protection. The Smart Fort called system offers full access to the system and allows the cheetah fight fire remotely from behind cover (for example, a bunker ).

Operations center and fire fighting

Practice ammunition 35 mm in girth

The effectiveness of using the Cheetah is based patient education by the radar and fire control system on the trained good interaction between the commander and gunner. Between the two there is a clear division of tasks and work that is already defined by the spatial arrangement of the panel parts and controls. The commander leads the tanks and the fire fight, the fault displays and monitors during tracking the environment and the search radar. He is also for the operation and monitoring of consoles 1 and 2, which take up the system power, the motor control of the ZM, all fault indicators and the radar selector, responsible. The gunner assumes the detection of the target and identifies the target in addition to optics, to the extent permitted visibility; moreover monitor the tracking radar and target tracking, the console of the weapons system operated (panel 5) and unlocks the guns. On the orders of the commander he fires the weapon, what happens on a floor pedal with safety lever.

Target reconnaissance, detection and tracking

Cheetah in flight target practice at the shooting range in the schedule is not guaranteed Todendorf

The cheetah clarify its environment through its search radar or two periscopes. Alternatively, it can receive data via radio the target data from an external radar. The gunner then marks on the orders of the commander the target with a type of joystick. The marking of the destination of the next triggers the swinging radar, which starts automatically to scan the area of elevation, since the search radar initially applied only the information on the azimuth angle. It is usually just the tower tracked. With detection of a target is the connection of the series and in addition the radar PRF, which is displayed on panel part 4. The fire control begins calculating and aligns the weapons. By the same date in modern aircraft are radar detectors respond and indicate to the flight crew so that they are in the beacon of a follow radars located. The cheetah is endangered from that date, as its location this can be well informed and bridged the aircraft tank with an anti-radar missile, such as the AGM-88 HARM or AS-17 Krypton could fight. Even the introduction of other remedies such as the dropping of chaff or evasive maneuvers, then more difficult to track and control.


To fight against all enemies, there are different rates of fire . Planes are usually with fire selector NORMAL fought. Here, the fire control computer determines what number of cartridges is fired perfectly, maximum twelve rounds per gun. With limited ammo is with fire selector LIMITED fired (ten rounds per gun). drone (UAV) with fire selector SHORT fought. Furthermore, these kinds of flames TIME, which is used only in exceptional cases, and ONE for the fight against ground targets are available.

Use against ground targets

The fight against ground targets such as tanks or wheeled vehicles, is in the operation of the Feuerleitrechnung kept much simpler because the target lock is not possible through search and tracking radar. The acquisition and tracking is purely visually by one of the periscopes for the commander or gunner. The distance setting for the weapons is done manually, since neither can dissolve the search nor the tracking radar ground targets and the laser rangefinder in the operation ground targets is not provided.
Ground targets, either in fast single shots or short bursts of fire fighting. Depending on the target species is either the destination or hard core ammunition used. Since the distance is estimated at a ground target, it makes sense in this case, tracer ammunition to use to correct after the first shot, the distance setting. A disadvantage of this method is greatly facilitated the elucidation of the tank through the enemy.
The cheetah is not normally able to destroy a modern battle tank, this can as much damage (for example, the sensors and the drive) that he himself can not escape the direct threat. Because of the relatively large caliber of the guns, the higher than those of most armored lies, he can, however lightly armored vehicles such as armored personnel carriers, armored vehicles and other air defense destroy easily.

Gepard 1 A2

(Details to the last version of the Bundeswehr)
  • Crew: 1 driver, 2 man weapons operator (commander and gunner)
Dimensions and weight
  • Length: 7.76 m
  • Width: 3.28 m
  • Height: 4.22 m (with unfolded search radar)
  • Weight: 47.5 tonnes, of which 32 tons for the chassis and 15.5 tonnes for the tower; Military Load Class (MLC): 52

Gepard 1A2

Power and Performance
  • Drive motor: 10-cylinder multi-fuel engine with 610 kW (830 hp) / Capacity: 37.4 liters,
  • Manufacturer: MTU , type: MB 838 CaM 500, consumption around 150 l/100 km
  • Additional motor (CM) for the power supply system (EVA): 4-cylinder diesel engine with 66 kW (90 hp) / Capacity: 3.8 liter,
  • Manufacturer: Daimler-Benz , Model: OM 314, consumption is around 10-20 l / h
  • Tankvolumen: 985 l
  • Suspension: torsion bar spring mounted support roller drive with living Endverbindergleiskette
  • Top speed: approx 65 km / h
  • Driving range (road) about 550 km
Primary armament
  • 2 × 35 mm Zwillingskanone KDA L/90 von Oerlikon Contraves GmbH
    • Rate of fire: 550 rounds per minute per gun
    • Length of tube: 3150 mm (90 caliber length), length of the pipe with v 0 -gauge: 3710 mm
    • Drallart: Progressive twist right (0 ° -6 ° 30 '), rate of twist: 2853 mm Number of trains: 24
    • Ammunition (Bundeswehr): FAPDS (Frangible Armour Piercing Discarding Sabot) against air and ground targets (v 0 > 1400 m / s),
    • HVAPDS-T (High-Velocity Armour-Piercing Discarding Sabot-Tracer) against more armored ground targets (v 0 = 1385 m / s)
    • Ammunition (and other users of earlier versions): different sub-types and full caliber (HEI, SAPHEI, APDS), Air Burst munitions types (such AHEAD ammunition)
  • pulse-controlled 76-mm smoke grenade from Wegmann with 2 × 4 tubes (mounted on the tower)
  • 2 × SEM-93-data radios

Education and training in the army

Cheetah at target practice on air targets in Todendorf

The operation and use of the FlakPz place great demands on the crew. It was one of the qualifications for the gunner of the most demanding uses for the conscripts soldiers was provided in the armed forces because it was associated with the longest duration of training.
For training at the Cheetah until version B2L were various training systems and simulators are available: The basic training was at the training facility Flakpanzer (AAF) . To her the basics of the system were conveyed such as the raising of the systems of the cheetah and the basics of combat flight destinations. The scrimmage space (ÜKr) asked the next level of education represents He made ​​possible by a spatial approach to the real tower a more realistic training and was used mainly to practice the procedure for system failures during the fight (such as the failure of the subsequent radar for target tracking) and the individual operations of the fire control know. The highest level of training provided to the destination simulator (MFI) is where networking is a real tank with a simulation system and thus the reality next training was made ​​possible. In the course of military training spent the gunner several 100 hours in one of the training systems, according to the commander of the training more.

Training system simulator-aircraft battery (ASF)

For the cheetah 1A2 was the education system simulator-aircraft battery (ASF) and introduced the above abolished. For the Shooting with live ammunition with the Cheetah used the army air defense troops two shooting ranges on the Baltic Sea within the schedule is not guaranteed. The fight against aerial targets was on the air defense firing range Todendorf practiced. For shooting at targets on the ground and combined air and Erdzielschießen the adjacent training area was Putlos available. The flight destinations, mainly in the form of drag sacks of types TGL-3C and TGL-3D and drag bodies of type DO-SK6 , were for the army in the first place by the EADS subsidiary company for aerial target towed (GFD).

Use in foreign armed forces

In the Belgian army used 55 cheetah had to be scrapped in 1994 because Belgium due to budgetary constraints no longer in a position to participate in the necessary life extension (NDV).

Dutch version of Cheetah the antiaircraft tank

Romanian Cheetah on a military parade

The cheetah was also in the Dutch army (95 versions of the CA1-3) under the official name PRTL (Pantser Rups Tegen Luchtdoelen, armored with chains against air targets) was introduced, which was called by the soldiers "Pruttle". Traditionally, each vehicle of the Dutch army is given a name beginning with the company name, which in this case due to the delivery of the first of the Cheetah C -Company, a name with C was at the beginning. They chose Cheetah , the English term for the big cat cheetah. Cheetah as a term for the Dutch cheetah comes from a published photo of this tank, which had a name written on his tower. The international press picked up on this name, and the error was finding its way into the literature. In 2000, the Dutch army was under the measures life extension Cheetah PRTL the official name of the tank after the army was tired of explaining the whole story again and again and Pruttle also appeared as a little menacing name for a tank. From 2005, but the Netherlands began in the Structural Reform of the army with the phasing out, but wanted to keep some units still in use until 2015. In the meantime (as of January 2011) is the cheetah in the equipment no longer lists the "Koninklijke land power". The Cheetah PRTL differ by the beam-like search radar, the modified smoke grenade with 2 × 6 tubes and track skirts the very appearance of the German Gepard. In contrast to those of the Dutch armed forces have also cheetah is still no laser rangefinder.
In its support of NATO accession candidates, the Bundeswehr has 43 Cheetah the old type B2 from November 2004 Romania submitted.  The delivery of the first two tanks from the Bundeswehr stocks were, however, already in 2000. With the decommissioning of cheetahs by the Romanian army, the Bundeswehr is that the last user of the carapace.
In October 2011, organized by the Brazilian armed forces air defense shooting competition on the training ground Formosa in Brazil is a mobile air defense system for their organizations to be determined. Fitted with the Leopard 1A5 State also showed interest in the family vehicle belonging cheetah. Krauss-Maffei Wegmann bought for this purpose a Gepard 1A2 (formerly Y-259 820) of the Bundeswehr. Soldiers of the army air defense force training center supported this manufacturer at the presentation of the weapon system in Brazil. As a model of an objective representation Deltaflügler served with about one meter wingspan, the radar cross section was described by stakeholders as sufficiently. Involved in the shooting competition were also the 40-mm Bofors gun and anti-aircraft missiles Igla used already in the armed forces. Since the day of the shooting 11 knots wind speed was measured at the bottom of both weapons systems miss the modeller. The shooting result of cheetah as a whole was three downed drone. Also fights were hard targets at 3000 meters.

Political controversy and future

In November 2001, there was between the then Minister of Defence Rudolf Scharping and the Minister of Foreign Affairs (Foreign Minister) Joschka Fischer to a controversy over exports of heavy equipment from the depot of the Bundeswehr. The Secretary of Defense had to the defense - attache at the German embassies of 53 countries sent a 46-page catalog with specific vehicles for sale. These included next to the main battle tank Leopard 1, the Howitzer M109 , the Marder and others, including 269 cheetah. The Foreign Minister then said the passing of the catalog to these states, among other things, because it is, and to countries outside the NATO the European Union acted (eg Nigeria and Egypt ) and the States are subject to special licensing requirements.
The year before, already the independent had Weizsäcker Commission recommended in addition to the reduction of other heavy equipment to halve the cheetah population to reduce overcapacity in the armed forces.  In March 2010, the then Chief of the Army, General Hans-Otto Budde , announced that all 90 remaining systems to be shut down for financial reasons, with immediate effect.
As a successor system for air defense cannon tanks are mobile units of the range protection system MANTIS serve and provide an extended range. The system is currently still in development, and the actual date of introduction to the Bundeswehr is still unclear.

Similar systems

  • Russland : ZSU-23-4 "Schilka" , Tunguska M-1 , Panzir-S1
  • Poland : PZA Loara
  • Japan : Type 87
  • Southkorea : K30 Biho
  • United Kingdom : Marksman