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US purchases 60 Gepard anti-aircraft guns from Jordan to send to Ukraine

by Nate Ostiller November 13, 2023 8:42 PM 2 min read
German anti-aircraft gun tank Gepard photographed at the Putlos military training area in Schleswig-Holstein on Aug. 25. 2022. (Marcus Brandt/dpa via Getty Images)
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The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) bought 60 Gepard self-propelled anti-aircraft guns from Jordan in order to transfer them to Ukraine, the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reported on Nov. 13, citing unnamed sources.

The weapons originated from the Netherlands, which sold them to Jordan in 2013 for 21 million euros. Only 10 years later, the DoD purchased them from Jordan for 110 million euros.

Although the Dutch Defense Ministry did not comment on the weapons being repurposed for use in Ukraine, a spokesperson told De Telegraaf that it was a fair price at the time, and the "geopolitical situation" has now changed, which affects the value of the Gepards.

The Gepard, a German-designed weapon first introduced into service in the 1970s, was designed for use against planes and helicopters. It is also highly effective against drones, especially against the Shahed-type drones Russia often attacks Ukraine with, Han Bouwmeester, a Dutch former brigadier general and current military professor, told De Telegraaf.

Its two guns can shoot 550 rounds a minute and is a much more cost-effective counter-drone weapon than firing expensive missiles from air-defense systems like the IRIS-T or the Patriot.

Germany has previously sent Ukraine almost 50 Gepards as well, including three more on Oct. 20.

As weapons stockpiles have increasingly shrunk, the U.S. has pursued various innovative methods to continue supplying Ukraine with military aid.

The U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) reported on Oct. 4 that ammunition confiscated from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) was transferred by the U.S. to Ukraine.

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