A post-Cold War oddity: the Flakpanzer Leclerc [800x512 px]


Gepard apart, the Marksman additionally pops into the mind. We suppose - most dual-cannon, tank-chassis SPAAGs look vaguely similar, right? 😛 But in this case, it is literally an Flakpanzer that is actual Gepard ...



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  • Gepard aside, the Marksman also comes to mind.
  • I suppose - most dual-cannon, tank-chassis SPAAGs look vaguely similar, right? 😛 But in this case, it's literally an actual Flakpanzer Gepard turret - they took one from ex-German stocks following the Cold War and retrofitted it to a Leclerc hull to make the tank more sellable. Might actually be the demonstrator Gepard 1A2 + Stinger turret KMW came up with but the Bundeswehr never bought. Modularity on a budget, I guess. 😉 E: A key difference between the Gepard and other Western-pattern SPAAG turrets like the Marksman is the placement of the targeting radar at the front of the turret, as opposed to on a mast on top with the search radar. Allegedly, the Germans had patented that particular radar placement, thus preventing competitors from doing the same nifty thing - something the Japanese apparently found out to their disappointment when they were designing the Type 87!
  • The Marksman system is designed to be mounted on any chassis with minimal difficulty, so seeing it on random MBTs is common, much more so than the Gepard. I'd very much like a source for that patent claim as well.
  • Absolutely, that's what it was designed for - but that doesn't change the fact that this is a Gepard turret. Marksman as an option would have been new-build - not really necessary if the Germans were opening up their stocks of Gepard turrets. 😛 Well, if you've access to Japanese magazines and translations, I recall seeing it in a back-issue of PANZER (July 2008, maybe?) - though that in itself (the magazine has a bit of a reputation) calls the reliability of the claim into question, hence the 'allegedly' above. Otherwise, it's a claim that appears to have propagated across the internet, without any scans of the magazine article in question to accompany it (alas) - including this fairly comprehensive guide to the Type 87. http://combat1.sakura.ne.jp/87SHIKI-T.htm E: Oh, and their 2012-13 guide to GSDF equipment has a section on the 87's development that explicitly describes the 87's early developmental stages as an effort to marry a turret inspired by the Gepard to a surplus Type 61 chassis, a plan that fell through when it turned out that the 61's hull didn't have the space to accommodate a SPAAG turret of that kind. Before anybody brings up the Tunguska - I doubt KMW had the power to file patents in the USSR at the height of the Cold War. 😛 But there's definitely past precedent for Gepard-related technologies to have patents filed in the US, Canada and Japan as well as Europe - http://www.zeit.de/1994/41/sparziel-verfehlt - so while I can't provide you with the specific government documents that show that this dispute actually occurred, there's no reason why it couldn't have. E: But then, I didn't make the comment in an attempt to radically change the historiography of the German defence industry or anything - just a moment of levity courtesy of a somewhat amusing anecdote. E2: That said - the Type 87 and Marksman turret were both designed in the 80s, in the West, and share the same turret layout. It takes until 1994 for another SPAAG with a similar armament - Loara - to emerge in the West. That more or less overlaps with the period where the Bundeswehr stops investing in the Gepard for the most part, KMW stops upgrading it and it begins to slide towards obsolescence/retirement. So the radar layout clearly works, but for some reason two turrets designed in the 80s don't have it during the Gepard's prime. It's definitely a possibility that the Gepard itself was the reason why they opted to use a different arrangement.
  • but that doesn't change the fact that this is a Gepard turret. No... why would it? It is said that 87AW adopted the antenna arrangement different from that of Geparuto in relation to the patent. Huh, interesting. I'm kind of skeptical that a design that would seriously impact performance would be limited by international patents which are usually weaker, but maybe.
  • Not sure - the Marksman keeps being brought up, and I have no idea why. There're plenty of other SPAAGs that look like the Gepard. 😛 Sure, but this wouldn't seriously impact performance - after all, the Type 87's evidence that they found a solution. If there's a ready solution, I expect they'd just choose to forgo the trouble, whatever the marginal increase in performance. It's a similar case with the 120mm the Japanese licensed from Rheinmetall with a 'no technological spin-offs' caveat attached to it - though the Japanese already had a domestic 120mm program in the running before they chose to license Rheinmetall's gun, and though they continued developing that (no doubt with input from the licensed gun) throughout the 90s, they decided nonetheless to proceed until 2009 with Rheinmetall's licensed gun, opting not to retrofit the Type 90 with a domestic gun and waiting until the Type 10 way down the line to do that. There're probably budgetary concerns involved in that decision too, but I'm sure they recognised that coming up with a new 120mm gun and cutting the flow of licensing fees to Rheinmetall in the mid-90s would have caused obvious problems - again, whatever the marginal capability improvements.
  • I have no idea why Because the Marksman turret gets slapped on everything by design, is why. It just seems strange to me to even be able to patent that, there's like 3 places to put a radar dish on a vehicle haha.
  • Well, by concept. It didn't sell well enough to be built in quantity, let alone to be slapped on everything. 😛 Naah. I mean, with the traditional search/tracking duo, you can have them arranged like the Gepard, on a single rear-turret mast like the Type 87 and co, or one in front of the other on separate mountings like the Otomatic, or side by side like the M247. You can also have single radar (search or track) mountings, on an exposed, raised mounting like the Shilka, or in a ballistic housing like the LvKv 90. It's an arrangement that may well become increasingly common if SPAAGs are still popular when AESA begins to proliferate a bit more. The possibilities are endless. 😉
  • Even between Gepard and Marksman, there is a lot of commonality, namely the exact same 35mm KD-series guns.
  • Type 87 and Loara ended up using the KDE as well. Probably because the Gepard used it first. 😛
  • This would slay in Syrian urban warfare. A super AA technical.
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