The Skyranger is a mobile ground based air defence (GBAD) developed by Oerlikon Contraves, a Swiss company, a subsidiary of the German Rheinmetall Defence. This artillery system can be deployed against air targets at short and very short range and against ground targets. The Skyranger is equipped with state-of-the-art search and tracking sensors which provide seamless 360Â° air and ground surveillance and accurate fire control data. The integrated 35 mm Oerlikon Revolver GunÂ® provides ultimate firepower and precision. Combined with the Oerlikon AheadÂ® Air Burst Technology an engagement against current and future air threats is highly effective. The Skyranger gun system can be mounted on lightweight wheeled or tracked armored vehicles. First prototypes were integrated on MOWAG Piranha IIIH, Piranha IV and Boxer 8×8 armored personnel carriers.
The unmanned anti-aircraft gun turret is equipped with a 35 mm revolver gun, which is based on successful 35/1000 revolver gun. It has a lot of commonality with the previous Oerlikon Contraves GDF 35 mm air defense artillery systems. It has an dual feeding system, which gives the operator choice of two types of ammunition. This artillery system has a selectable rate of fire. A maximum rate is 1 000 rounds per minute. It is also capable of firing mini-bursts or single shots. A total of 220 rounds are carried for the main gun. The Skyranger gun system is also effective against ground targets and can be used as a fire support weapon. It uses Frangible Amour-Piercing Discarding Sabot (FAPDS) rounds against ground targets. Range of effective fire is about 5 000 meters.
The Skyranger is optimized to fire the company’s proprietary 35-mm AHEAD (Advanced Hit Efficiency And Destruction) ammunition. It is a self-programming ammunition, developed to improve lethality of the previous Oerlikon Contraves GDF series of twin 35 mm towed anti-aircraft guns. These rounds release a cloud of sub-projectiles just ahead of the target, greatly increasing the probability of a kill. Fewer rounds of ammunition are required per kill, because of its effectiveness, permitting a greater number of engagements. A typical engagement sequence consists of 20-24 rounds. It is effective against small and fast moving air targets. Effective range of fire is about 4 km. The AHEAD ammunition is already in service with more than 10 countries.
The Skyranger unmanned turret has an electro-optical tracking sensor, which automatically tracks the targets, assigned either by the control center, external radars, or targets acquired by its own sensors. The passive sensor system consists of an infrared camera, TV camera, laser rangefinder. It is an all-weather system, which operates in day or night conditions.Other component of the Skyranger air defense system is a command post vehicle, with reconnaissance radar and command system, which provides battle management capabilities. It has a tracking range of 25 km. There is also a missile launcher. Manufacturer suggests, that a typical Skyranger battery should comprise two gun systems, one missile launcher and one radar/command vehicle. It is possible to network up to six Skyranger gun or missile units depending on mission requirements.