Kugelblitz

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Rank IV USSR | Premium | Golden Eagles
Tu-1 Pack
germ_flakpanzer_iv_kugelblitz.png
GarageImage Kugelblitz.jpg
ArtImage Kugelblitz.png
Kugelblitz
AB RB SB
7.3 7.0 7.0
Class:
Research:71 000 Specs-Card-Exp.png
Purchase:210 000 Specs-Card-Lion.png
Show in game

Description

The Flakpanzer IV "Kugelblitz" is the third variant of the Flakpanzer IV self-propelled anti-aircraft gun family. The Panzer IV medium tank chassis is combined with a newly designed oscillating turret to provide complete protection for the crews. This turret was completely enclosed, with overhead protection and full traverse. The disruption caused by Allied bombing efforts prevented mass production from taking place.

Introduced in Update 1.43, the Flakpanzer IV "Kugelblitz" is an extremely competitive vehicle. Its twin-mounted 30 mm Maschinenkanone 103/38 provides high destructive power against enemy air and ground targets. The main armament is fast-firing and precise, requiring only one or two shells to bring down even a bomber. Players can also equip armour-piercing ammunition belts to target enemy ground units. This machine can quickly destroy a column of enemy targets with well-executed flanking manoeuvres.

General info

Survivability and armour

Armourfront / side / back
Hull80 / 30 / 20
Turret50 / 30 / 30
Crew5 people
Visibility83 %
The X-Ray view of the Kugelblitz in the hangar, the 5 crew members locations inside the vehicle are visible, giving a visual understanding of the vehicle's survivability.

The Kugelblitz has high armour values compared to most SPAA, but the armour will not protect it against the main calibre guns of tanks at the battle rating. The survivability is quite good, the crew is well spaced and numerous, and the ammunition is unlikely to detonate. The Kugelblitz has excellent protection against strafing runs from enemy aircraft, although some aircraft cannons may penetrate the 10 mm hull armour and cause an engine fire.

Since the ball turret is enclosed and separated from the hull, the Kugelblitz can still operate its cannons after a successful penetration of the hull.

Armour type:

  • Rolled homogeneous armour
Armour Front (Slope angle) Sides Rear Roof
Hull 80 mm 30 mm 20 mm 10 mm
Turret 30 mm Turret housing
20 mm Turret ball
30 mm Turret housing
20 mm Turret ball
30 mm Turret housing
20 mm Turret ball
20 mm

Notes:

Mobility

Speedforward / back
AB43 / 8 km/h
RB and SB39 / 8 km/h
Number of gears6 forward
1 back
Weight25.0 t
Engine power
AB572 hp
RB and SB300 hp
Power-to-weight ratio
AB22.9 hp/t
RB and SB12.0 hp/t
Game Mode Max Speed (km/h) Weight (tons) Engine power (horsepower) Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)
Forward Reverse Stock Upgraded Stock Upgraded
Arcade 43 8 25 426 572 17.04 22.88
Realistic 39 8 265 300 10.6 12

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB3 519 → 4 528 Sl icon.png
RB3 348 → 4 308 Sl icon.png
SB5 066 → 6 519 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications61 700 Rp icon.png
103 000 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost1 800 Ge icon.png
Crew training61 000 Sl icon.png
Experts210 000 Sl icon.png
Aces890 Ge icon.png
Research Aces570 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
140 / 170 / 240 % Sl icon.png
178 / 178 / 178 % Rp icon.png
Modifications
Mobility Protection Firepower
Mods new tank traks.png
Tracks
Research:
3 100 Rp icon.png
Cost:
5 200 Sl icon.png
160 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank suspension.png
Suspension
Research:
2 800 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 700 Sl icon.png
145 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank break.png
Brake System
Research:
2 800 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 700 Sl icon.png
145 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank filter.png
Filters
Research:
5 100 Rp icon.png
Cost:
8 500 Sl icon.png
260 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank transmission.png
Transmission
Research:
5 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
8 300 Sl icon.png
260 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank engine.png
Engine
Research:
5 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
8 300 Sl icon.png
260 Ge icon.png
Mods tank tool kit.png
Improved Parts
Research:
3 100 Rp icon.png
Cost:
5 200 Sl icon.png
160 Ge icon.png
Mods extinguisher.png
Improved FPE
Research:
2 800 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 700 Sl icon.png
145 Ge icon.png
Mods tank reinforcement ger.png
Crew Replenishment
Research:
5 100 Rp icon.png
Cost:
8 500 Sl icon.png
260 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
30mm_mk_103_38_HE_ammo_pack
Research:
3 100 Rp icon.png
Cost:
5 200 Sl icon.png
160 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods new tank horizontal aiming.png
Horizontal Drive
Research:
3 100 Rp icon.png
Cost:
5 200 Sl icon.png
160 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
30mm_mk_103_38_AP_ammo_pack
Research:
2 800 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 700 Sl icon.png
145 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 1.png
Mods tank cannon.png
Adjustment of Fire
Research:
2 800 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 700 Sl icon.png
145 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank vertical aiming.png
Elevation Mechanism
Research:
5 100 Rp icon.png
Cost:
8 500 Sl icon.png
260 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
30mm_mk_103_38_APCR_ammo_pack
Research:
5 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
8 300 Sl icon.png
260 Ge icon.png
Mods art support.png
Artillery Support
Research:
5 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
8 300 Sl icon.png
260 Ge icon.png

The Kugelblitz has a comparatively low gun traverse speed when not upgraded, so the Horizontal Drive and Elevation Mechanism modules are quite important. Another very useful modification is the M.Gr. ammo belt, which almost completely composed of high-explosive shells and helps to increase damage dealt to enemy aircraft. The two Pz.Gr. modules allow the vehicle to better engage enemy ground forces. These belts contain more high-penetration rounds than high-explosive ones, and increase the vehicle's effectiveness against armoured targets. Still, they will not be able to penetrate most tanks frontally at this tier, and are better suited for engaging lightly-armoured vehicles.

Armaments

Main armament

2 x 30 mm MK103/38 cannon
Ammunition1 200 rounds
Belt capacity100 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
13.0 → 10.0 s
Fire rate450 shots/min
Vertical guidance-7° / 80°
Main article: MK103/38 (30 mm)
30 mm MK103/38 (x2) Turret rotation speed (°/s) Reloading rate (seconds)
Mode Capacity (Belt) Fire rate Vertical Horizontal Stabilizer Stock Upgraded Full Expert Aced Stock Full Expert Aced
Arcade 1,200 (100) 450 -7°/+80° ±180° N/A 52.8 73.1 88.8 98.2 104.5 13.00 11.50 10.60 10.00
Realistic 35.7 42.0 51.0 56.4 60.0

Ammunition

  • Default: AP-I · HEI-T
  • M.Gr.: HEI-T · HEI-T · HEI-T · AP-I
  • Pz.Gr.: AP-I · AP-I · AP-I · HEI-T
  • Pz.Gr. H: HVAP-T · HEI-T · HEI-T

Penetration statistics
Ammunition Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
10 m 100 m 500 m 1,000 m 1,500 m 2,000 m
HEI-T 7 6 4 4 4 4
AP-I 58 55 44 33 25 19
HVAP-T 77 74 61 47 37 29
Shell details
Ammunition Velocity
(m/s)
Projectile
mass (kg)
Fuse delay
(m)
Fuse sensitivity
(mm)
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
Ricochet
0% 50% 100%
HEI-T 920 0.33 0.1 0.1 84 79° 80° 81°
AP-I 800 0.5 - - - 47° 56° 65°
HVAP-T 960 0.36 - - - 66° 70° 72°

Ammo racks

Ammo racks of the Kugelblitz
Full
ammo
1st
rack empty
2nd
rack empty
Visual
discrepancy
12 (+6) (+12) No

Note:

  • Ammunition is modeled as 12 magazines of 100 rounds.

Usage in battles

Overview:

The Kugelblitz is a dedicated AA, however the guns do have decent penetration and the Kugelblitz has some armour and survivability, so targeting enemy ground vehicles is a possibility. However, air targets should still be the main focus of the Kugelblitz. Due to the survivability and firepower, the Kugelblitz is best placed near the frontlines in case it needs to support a teammate against an enemy ground vehicle, but it should not be directly in view of enemy tanks.

Tips:

The Kugelblitz is best used as a second or third spawn, because aircraft will not spawn at the beginning of the match. Do not engage aircraft too early, as you will only expose yourself. Begin firing at no more than 1-1.5 km range for the best effect. Always watch out for multiple aircraft, as one may hit you with bombs or rockets while you are distracted. The fast firing 30 mm guns are extremely potent, and will quickly dispatch most air targets after a few hits, even against heavy fighters and bombers. It is a good idea to learn the weak spots of enemy ground vehicles you will commonly face near the Kugelblitz's BR, as knowing these will allow the Kugelblitz to deal maximum damage.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • High rate of fire for a 30 mm cannon
  • Fast turret rotation speed
  • Very good at taking out other SPAA or lightly-armoured vehicles
  • Average movement speed
  • Is closed-top unlike other open-top SPAAs, protecting it from lots of strafing that could otherwise be fatal
  • HVAP round can penetrate 77 mm, improving efficacy against other tanks

Cons:

  • Although having thick armour for an SPAA, it's still only a Panzer IV hull and not enough to stop any kind of tank shell at its rank, or fire from .50 cal HMGs
  • Long reload time
  • HVAP belt is 2/3 HE rounds, reducing effectiveness

History

Design

The genesis of the Kugelblitz can be traced back to a precursor project involving a spherical Flak turret. Initially conceived to bolster the anti-aircraft defenses of German submarines, the turret boasted twin 30 mm cannons and was developed in early 1944 by Alkett, a firm renowned for its contributions to self-propelled anti-aircraft (SPAA) vehicle construction. Despite its promising design, the spherical Flak turret never found favor with the German Navy. Engineers at Alkett recognized the potential of the turret's oblate form and weapon configuration, opting to repurpose it for a new SPAA endeavor. The groundwork for the Kugelblitz was laid, with development commencing in late 1944. A Panzer IV chassis was selected as the platform for integrating the turret. However, a pivotal modification involved fitting a Tiger I turret ring onto the Panzer IV to accommodate the larger spherical turret. This adaptation underscored the approach of the engineers involved. Despite progress in development, including the construction of five prototypes, the Kugelblitz never underwent formal testing. Plans for mass production were also thwarted by the relentless Allied bombing campaigns targeting German factories during the latter stages of the war (1944-1945).

Development

The development of the Kugelblitz relies on a previous project, a spherical Flak turret, designed to provide German submarines with adequate anti-aircraft defence capability. The oblate turret featured twin 30 mm cannons and was originally developed in early 1944 by the firm Alkett also responsible for the construction of SPAA vehicles. The turret was however never adopted by the German navy. This led the engineers of the firm to reuse the same type of design it for the needs of the new SPAA project. Development started of the Kugelblitz in late 1944. The chassis chosen to integrate the turret remained a Panzer IV. The main difference was that a Tiger I turret ring was fitted on the Pz.IV to accommodate the large turret. Five prototypes were built but never tested. Mass production was even planned but never happened due to the intense Allied bombings of German factories from 1944 to 1945.

Combat usage

The Kugelblitz was never approved for service, as its development was not yet completed when the war ended in Europe. Several prototypes briefly saw combat during the Battle of Berlin or in engagements throughout Germany.


Archive of the in-game description

A continuation of the line of German AA vehicles based on the Pz.IV tank. It was the first AA vehicle to have a fully enclosed turret. Only two were ever built, and they may not have been used in combat. Both of the AA vehicles that were released ended up in the anti-air artillery training battalion stationed at the Ohrdruf training ground in Thuringia.


Media

Skins
Videos

See also

Vehicles equipped with the same chassis
Other vehicles of similar configuration and role

External links


Germany anti-aircraft vehicles
Wheeled  Sd.Kfz.222
Half-track  Sd.Kfz.251/21 · Sd.Kfz. 6/2
Flakpanzer IV  Wirbelwind · Ostwind · Ostwind II · Kugelblitz · Zerstörer 45
Other Flakpanzers  Flakpanzer I · Flakpanzer 38 · Flakpanzer 341
Wiesel AWC  Wiesel 1A4 · Ozelot
Radar SPAAG  Gepard · Gepard 1A2
Missile SPAA  FlaRakPz 1 · FlaRakRad