Rheinmetall has been contracted by an international customer to supply air defence systems. The supplies also include ammunition and spare parts. The order value is in the mid double-digit million euro range. The order is of great importance to Rheinmetall. It underscores the high degree of confidence in Rheinmetall’s world-leading expertise in the field of ground-based air defence. Rheinmetall is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of advanced air defence systems. The company is the market leader and the only comprehensive systems supplier for fire control technology, automatic cannons, integrated guided missiles and Ahead airburst ammunition. Air surveillance systems and radar technology, powerful sensor technology and high-energy laser effectors round off the portfolio.
Rheinmetall Air Defence AG is a division of German armament manufacturer Rheinmetall, created when the company’s Oerlikon Contraves unit was renamed on 1 January 2009 and integrated with Rheinmetall’s other air-defence products. The company include training programmes, and supply combat performance upgrades to extend the useful service life of systems and equipment. For example, aging automatic cannons can be retrofitted with advanced Ahead technology. Ammunition, individual weapons and complete air defence systems all undergo comprehensive testing at the company’s proving ground at Ochsenboden in Switzerland. Ground forces all over the world count on Rheinmetall’s state-of-the-art air defence solutions.
A core element of Rheinmetall’s response to the rocket, artillery and mortar (RAM) threat is its Oerlikon Ahead technology. The ability to alter the time of ejection enables Ahead ammunition to deal effectively with a wide array of current and future battlefield threats, while keeping collateral damage to an absolute minimum. The 35 mm Ahead system, consists of measurement and programming units, control electronics and programmable Ahead ammunition. It can be fitted to any suitable automatic cannon and then successfully engage small, fast aerial targets with a high kill probability. Each Ahead round contains 152 tungsten sub-projectiles which are ejected immediately in front of the oncoming target. The measurement unit determines the velocity of each Ahead round prior to muzzle exit.
Based on this data, the control electronics calculates the sub-projectile ejection time, which is transmitted via the programming unit to the time fuse in the projectile. Along with ECM-proof sensors, C4I technology and effectors (in this case, 35mm revolver guns with a high rate of fire), ammunition too is destined to play an increasingly important role in defeating the rocket, artillery and mortar threat the Rheinmetall way. The company’s 35mm x 228 Ahead ammunition significantly enhances the combat effectiveness of modern automatic cannon. As the rounds leave the barrel, the time delay fuse in each projectile is programmed to eject its lethal payload of spin-stabilized tungsten cylinders at the optimum moment, taking into account the distance to the target and the round’s initial velocity.