Oerlikon-Bührle AG 20 mm Vierlings-Flabpanzer Lpz 51, Swiss Shilka before it was cool

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caid’s suggestion #60

I would like to suggest a rather unique tank, the Swiss VFlab Lpz 51

the Oerlikon-Bührle AG 20 mm Vierlings-Flabpanzer or just VFlab Lpz 51 for short was a development of Oerlikon-Bührle AG to create a highly mobile SPAA with high firepower. this alpine monster features a high fire rate of 1000 rounds for each gun and it has 4 of them. this means a river of fire of 4000 rounds each minute. built on the Lpz 51 chassis (Swiss designation for the AMX 13). first presented to the public on May 14th, 1959 it participated in the Army Corp parade. the tank features a new turret with radar. this makes it comparable to the Russian ZSU-23-4 Shilka which was only introduced in 1965. this makes not only a unique design but also an innovative design.

the design was initially ordered to production in 1960 with 24 tanks of pre-production, later the order rose to 80 vehicles which was supposed to equip the entire Swiss anti-aircraft units. however, the introduction of the Mowag 1 tonnes vehicle gave the Swiss army a better capacity to tow the static 20mm gun which made the VFlab Lpz 51 be judged unnecessary for the defense capacity of Switzerland. the orders were soon canceled.


the armament was nothing less than 4x 20mm Oerlikon fliegerabwehr Kannon 54 which was a modern post war auto-cannon. the gun features a pretty high fire rate and velocity which make it pretty effective against ground and air targets. the gun also features a pretty good penetration which is superior to the WW2 rounds and a high elevation. this gun’s main use was only the anti-air defense but some ammunition allowed it to be used against ground targets as well with some interesting effects. the turret also features a radar but neither the type nor capacity of this radar is known. the ammo load is also unknown and so is the gun’s elevation.


sadly there is no information about this tank’s weight, this is because there is no details given about this vehicle. but the weight is probably around 17 tonnes. but this is a long guess only based on the picture and the knowledge of the weight of vehicles of the same base and same size (like the AMX Mk.62). this should give a power weight fairly lower than the AMX 13 on which this tank was based. but still gives enough mobility for a light tank. the tank is powered by the same Sofam 270 hp engine as the AMX 13 and would still give the same top speed. overall, this tank will feature pretty good mobility


The armor of the turret is unknown but is likely offering minimal armor to immune it against most shrapnel and LMG fire. this means about 15mm on the front and 12mm on the side and rear. the chassis is well-known and is the same as the regular AMX 13. this makes this tank a still decently protected SPAA with protection similar to the Zsu-23-4 to which this tank would be easily compared. the crew is unknown but probably includes 5 men. 1 driver, a gunner, a commander, and 2 loaders in the turret.







here is an additional picture of a slightly different angle

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I have always loved this thing, and I look forward to the addition of Switzerland so I can play it! +1

it’s very small but here is a picture from above