The Czech ammunition producer STV GROUP and the German defense company Rheinmetall showcased the Oerlikon Skyranger 30, a cutting-edge light multi-role air defense system, at the IDET 2023 defense exhibition held in Brno, Czech Republic. The Skyranger 30 is a short range air defense turret system developed Rheinmetall Air Defence AG (formerly Oerlikon) and first revealed in March 2021. Its role is to provide ground units with a mobile system capable of engaging fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, Group I and II unmanned aerial systems (UAS), loitering munitions and cruise missiles. Oerlikon Skyranger 30 can be efficiently mounted on the Cezh Pandur 2 8×8 wheeled platform or CV90 tracked platform.
The Skyranger 30 follows the same general configuration as the Skyranger 35, a remote turret with a 1.414 m-diameter turret ring, but with less weight of 2-2.5 tonnes enabling it to be installed on lighter 6×6 wheeled vehicles. The turret features a central armored structure with basic Level 2 protection, which can be fitted with add-on armor to increase to Level 4. It is fitted with a modified version of the Oerlikon KCA 30 mm cannon used on the Saab 37 Viggen fighter jet named the KCE. While it has a shorter effective range than the Skyranger 35 at 3 km, it has a higher rate of fire of 1,200 rounds per minute. It maintains the ability to elevate 85° to combat terminal diving targets.
The gun fires a 30 mm airburst munition based on the 35 mm AHEAD ammunition carrying 160 tungsten cylinders, each weighing 1.25 grams for a total payload of 200 grams, which is time-programmed upon leaving the muzzle to open up in front of a target to form a lethal cone.252 ready rounds are carried. Due to the system’s reduced weight, the Skyranger 30 turret is able to integrate two short-range surface-to-air missiles (SAMs). Missiles guided by laser beam riding or infrared homing such as the FIM-92 Stinger or Mistral can be integrated, as well as the SkyKnight. Depending on the type, missiles extend range up to 8-9 km, while the gun covers the space under their minimum engagement range.
To detect targets, the Skyranger 30 uses the S-band AESA Multi-Mission Radar (AMMR) developed by Rheinmetall Italia. Five flat antennas integrated around the turret provide full 360° coverage. The AMMR has a detection range of over 20 km for a 1 m2 RCS aircraft, 12 km against hovering helicopters, 10 km against missiles, and 5 km against RAM targets and micro-UAS. For passive detection, the vehicle is installed with Rheinmetall’s FIRST (Fast InfraRed Search and Track), which is optimized to detect pop-up targets such as helicopters. Identification and tracking is handled by a compact target tracker that includes one HD cooled MWIR thermal camera, one full-HD TV camera, and two laser rangefinders, one devoted to air targets and the other for land targets.