Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Germany’s new drone-killing weapon set for series production

German defense conglomerate Rheinmetall has announced that its new Skyranger 30 air defense system has successfully reached a pivotal milestone on its path to series production.

In December 2023, the A1 configuration of the Skyranger 30 underwent testing and a live-fire campaign at the Group’s Ochsenboden proving ground in Switzerland. This comprehensive assessment evaluated the system’s performance in both stationary and mobile modes, marking a significant step forward in its development.

The Skyranger 30 A1 serves as a development testbed with a strategic purpose—facilitating the total system qualification of the Skyranger 30 A3, expected in mid-2024. The A1’s adaptable design proves instrumental in efficient testing and optimization, accommodating various customer variants with different radars and effectors. This flexibility becomes a major advantage as several European user nations gear up for the imminent introduction of the Skyranger 30.

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In December 2023, Hungary, a NATO and EU member state, entered into a contract with Rheinmetall to conceptualize a Skyranger 30 turret for the future air defense variant of the Lynx KF41 tracked armored vehicle. Additionally, Denmark and Germany, both planning to procure the Skyranger 30, will mount it on different wheeled armored vehicles.

At the heart of the Skyranger 30 is the 30mmx173 KCE revolver cannon, renowned for its immense firepower and precision, demonstrated even under adverse weather conditions. The forthcoming Skyranger 30 A3 is poised to decisively counter current and future aerial threats, including drones, allowing ground troops to concentrate on their core mission.

As noted by the company, the system’s well-thought-out design incorporates a diverse array of ordnance, high mobility, and state-of-the-art sensors, enabling both autonomous and networked operation. Furthermore, the compact turret design facilitates seamless integration into a variety of manned and unmanned platforms, such as Rheinmetall’s 8×8 Boxer wheeled armored vehicle. The Skyranger 30 stands as a solution addressing the current global capability gap in mobile air defense.

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Executive Editor

About author:

Colton Jones
Colton Jones
Colton Jones is the deputy editor of Defence Blog. He is a US-based journalist, writer and publisher who specializes in the defense industry in North America and Europe. He has written about emerging technology in military magazines and elsewhere. He is a former Air Force airmen and served at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

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