In modern conflicts, whether asymmetric or conventional in nature, having a comprehensive air defence capability is vital. A ground-based mobile short-range air defence (M-SHORAD) capability is a key prerequisite for force protection and achieving successful outcomes, as is a combined arms air defence capability, or CAFAD. In late 2020, Rheinmetall presented its new Skyranger 30 mobile air defence system for the first time. Its compact, remotely controlled turret is equipped with everything necessary for detecting, tracking and engaging even the most
treacherous targets. The system can be deployed to defend stationary high-value assets as well as for protecting friendly forces on the move. Moreover, it can operate in standalone mode or as part of existing battle management system.
The Skyranger 30 combines the most effective sensors and greatest possible firepower in its weight class. Its main armament is the 30mm KCE-ABM revolver gun. Specifically designed to fire 30mm x 173 programmable airburst ammunition, this triedand-tested weapon has a maximum rate of fire of 1,200 per minute. Featuring an extensive elevation range of -10 to +85 degrees, it can reliably engage small and swarm targets at distances of up to 3,000 metres. The turret holds 252 rounds of ammunition, ready to fire. As an option, the Skyranger 30 turret can also be equipped with two SHORAD surface-to-air missiles, doubling the system’s engagement range to 6,000 metres. The senor suite comprises a permanently integrated, state-of-the-art AESA search radar. Also available as an option is FIRST, Rheinmetall’s parabolic infrared scanner, which stands for “Fast Infrared Search and Track”.
Thanks to its advanced sensors, the Skyranger 30 can generate its own air situation picture, even when operating in an ECM environment. The fact that it can be networked to higher echelons enhances this capability, further augmenting its operational flexibility. Moreover, the combination of active and passive sensors bolsters its survivability, as does its low-profile silhouette. The Skyranger 30 turret can be protected up to STANAG 4569 Level 4. The commander and gunner operate the turret from redundant control consoles in the carrier vehicle. A high degree of automation supports the crew when it comes to situational awareness, target tracking and target identification. A ballistic-resistant turret hatch lets the crew observe the surrounding terrain. In addition, the hatch permits access to the cannon, the magazine and electro-optical sensors for maintenance purposes or reloading.
For self-defence, a coaxial 7.62mm machinegun is integrated into the turret. It also features two launchers for the ROSY rapid smoke/obscurant system, each containing nine cartridges. Depending on the configuration, the Skyranger 30 weighs from 2 to 2.5 tonnes, meaning that it can be mounted either on 6×6 and 8×8 wheeled vehicles or tracked vehicles. The Rheinmetall Skyranger 30 thus complements perfectly the next-larger system, the Skyranger 35,
unveiled by Rheinmetall in 2018. These newly developed products confirm Rheinmetall’s status as one of the world’s foremost suppliers of ground-based air defence solutions. Rheinmetall recommends a comprehensive mix of sensors and effectors as a threat-commensurate solution for ground-based air defence systems. The array of sensors comprises various radars and electro-optical reconnaissance and surveillance assets.