Rheinmetall, a German defense company, has announced that Ukraine will be receiving two Skynex short- and very-short-range air defense systems by the end of 2023. This announcement was made in a press release on June 27, which also highlighted the Netherlands’ order of 14 Leopard 2A4 tanks, jointly procured by Denmark and destined for Ukraine. As part of the assistance provided during the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, the German government confirmed on December 9, 2022, that Rheinmetall would supply two Skynex systems to Ukraine. The total value of this support is estimated at approximately €182 million ($192 million), with Germany covering the associated costs. Rheinmetall had previously announced its intention to deliver two Skynex systems to an international customer on the same day.
Rheinmetall has valued the delivery at EUR182 million (USD199.17 million) and an additional EUR12 million for the HX trucks that will accompany the Skynex systems. The Oerlikon Skynex® Air Defence System is Rheinmetall’s latest solution for short-range air defence. With its open and modular architecture, it sets new standards in terms of flexibility and expandability. The Oerlikon Skymaster Battle Management System is the control node and centrepiece of the system. Various sensors and effectors can be linked in a modular way in order to fit mission requirements. One or several medium range radars, such as the Qerlikon X-TAR3D Tactical Acquisition Radar, which is consolidated in the control node. From there, air targets are assigned to autonomous effectors via the Skymaster network.
Each Skynex system consists of four Revolver Gun Mk 3s, a CN-1 control node, and an X-TAR3D target acquisition and tracking radar. Designed specifically for very-short-range air defense, the Skynex automatic gun-based system employs advanced hit efficiency and destruction (AHEAD) 35 mm programmable rounds. These rounds offer a more cost-effective alternative to guided missile-based systems while also being immune to interference or jamming by electronic countermeasures during firing. With its unique capabilities, the Skynex system is set to enhance Ukraine’s air defense capabilities and provide reliable protection against threats in the short and very-short-range airspace.
Skynex allows integrating sensors from different manufacturers. Its capability to implement various types of effectors offers an additional freedom of action. The only requirement for the implementation is an integrated tracking unit. Besides the single sensors and effectors, users can also link existing fire units such as Skyshield or Skyguard in a classic fire unit configuration to the control node. Besides the high performance Oerlikon Revolver Gun Mk3, the Oerlikon Twin Gun GDF009 TREO, surface-to-air missiles, means for active and passive electronic warfare and future high-energy lasers can be integrated. Such a weapon mix generates a highly effective layered protection shield against a wide spectrum of air threats and provides the necessary answer against saturation and swarm attacks in the future.