Skyguard 3 Air Defence Systems
Skyguard 3 Air Defence Systems

Rheinmetall Awarded International Customer to Modernize Skyguard 35mm Air Defence Systems

An international customer has contracted with Rheinmetall to modernize its 35mm cannon-based air defence systems. The order also includes ammunition and other components for the modernized Skyguard air defence batteries. Work will start in 2023. This will enable the country to protect itself and its vital assets from a wide range of aerial threats, including small unmanned aerial systems. The contract is of great importance to Rheinmetall. It not only strengthens a strategic customer relationship that has existed for decades, but also underscores the high degree of confidence in Rheinmetall’s world-leading expertise in the field of ground-based air defence.

Oerlikon Skyguard Air Defence SystemOerlikon Skyguard Air Defence System. (Photo by Rheinmetall)

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Rheinmetall Italia is handling the order. The contract is worth a figure in the low three-digit million-euro range. Rheinmetall is upgrading the customer’s 35mm twin guns, bringing them up to the latest Oerlikon GDF009 standard, which will be capable of using AHEAD airburst ammunition. The Oerlikon GDF or Oerlikon 35 mm twin cannon is a towed anti-aircraft gun made by Oerlikon Contraves (renamed as Rheinmetall Air Defence AG following the merger with Rheinmetall in 2009). AHEAD (Advanced Hit Efficiency And Destruction) is an anti-missile rounds that fire 152 heavy tungsten metal sub-projectiles which explodes at a pre-calculated point in front of the target.

 Oerlikon 35mm twin-cannon GDF 009 Oerlikon 35mm Twin-cannon GDF 009. (Photo by Rheinmetall)

Skyguard is a typical fire unit consists of two twin 35 mm gun platforms with a single Skyguard fire control radar. Skyguard systems can also incorporate an optional surface-to-air missile (SAM) module. The GDF-009 model is based on a four-wheeled carriage, and is raised off the ground by three stabilisers when deployed in the firing position. It also features an automatic levelling system that can compensate for a maximum tilt angle of up to 7°.Mounted on the forward part of the carriage is the integrated battery, which functions as the gun’s power supply unit and can be recharged from an external source if required. Unveiled at IDEF 2015, held in May 2015 in Istanbul.

Skyguard III FCU Fire Control Unit Oerlikon Skyguard Fire Control Unit (FCU). (Photo by Rheinmetall)

Rheinmetall is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of advanced air defence systems. In automatic cannon-based air defence, the company is the market leader and the only comprehensive systems supplier of fire control technology, automatic cannons, integrated guided missiles and Ahead airburst ammunition. Air surveillance systems and AESA radar technology, powerful sensor technology and high-energy laser effectors round off its product portfolio. Rheinmetall AG is a German automotive and arms manufacturer, headquartered in Düsseldorf, Germany. Its shares are traded on the Frankfurt stock exchange.

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