The GEPARD anti-air defence system in the use of the Romanian Land Forces is to be deployed for the first time in the NATO mission in Poland, informs a release of the Ministry of National Defence (MApN) sent on Monday to AGERPRES.
A detachment of 102 servicemen of the Potaissa 3rd Anti-Air Defence Battalion headquartered in Turda is starting its six month mission to Poland, as part of the NATO Battle Group deployed at the Bemowo Piskie military base.
With the start of their mission, the Potaissa 3rd Anti-Air Defence Battalion will deploy for the first time abroad the GEPARD air defence system, the missions in the previous rotations being fulfilled, for three and a half years, with the Oerlikon GDF 35 mm anti-air defence system, which will return to Romania with the General Gheorghe Parvulescu 205th Anti-Air Defence Battalion headquartered in Craiova, at the end of their mission in Poland.
The deployment of the anti-air artillery servicemen from Turda represents the eighth rotation in Romania's contribution to the enhanced Forward Presence of the North Atlantic Alliance in Poland.
The Romanian Army is participating since 2017 with an anti-air defence detachment to the mission to consolidate the enhanced forward presence in the Alliance's northeast, as part of the NATO Battle Group in Poland led by the United States, according to the decision assumed by Romania following the NATO summit in Warsaw.
The GEPARD anti-air defence system is part of the category of self-propelled antiaircraft gun, with high mobility and very short reaction time, its tactical mission being the engagement in combat of air targets that launch surprise attacks, at low altitude, with a speed of up to 475 m/s, as well as engaging ground targets. Fitted with two Oerlikon KDA autocannons, 35 mm caliber, it also has a search and tracking radar and does not require any motion changes to engage and fire on targets. Despite its relatively high mass (47.5 tons), it boasts a maximum speed of 60 km/h and over 500 km autonomy.
Furthermore, the antiaircraft system uses a series of specialized installations, such as night vision, a hydraulic installation allowing underwater crossing, NBC (Nuclear, Bacterial, Chemical) protection, the ability to fire smokescreens, being capable of deployment in any kind of weather, by day or by night, also boasting a system to render it immune to radioelectronic scrambling.