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Rheinmetall Awarded $9 Million US Army Contract for High-energy Cannon System

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Rheinmetall Awarded $9 Million US Army Contract for High-energy Cannon System

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Late last year, Skyranger HEL was presented in public for the first time at a counter-drone event in Switzerland, sparking great interest from the experts present. (Rheinmetall)
Rheinmetall Skyranger 30 system with a high-energy laser (HEL).

Rheinmetall Waffe Munition GMBH, Trittau, Germany, was awarded a $9,400,000 firm-fixed-price contract for high-energy cannon system parts and maintenance. Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Oct. 30, 2028. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, is the contracting activity. Rheinmetall announced in a press release on 4 February that it has introduced a Skyranger 30 system with a high-energy laser (HEL). Skyranger 30 HEL autonomously monitors airspace and simultaneously selects the best effector to engage a target: its 30 mm automatic cannon, guided missiles, or HEL.

Skyranger 30 HEL can be mounted on 6×6 wheeled or tracked vehicles. The HEL’s laser source and guidance system are integrated into the vehicle, with the laser weapon station and electro-optical sensors mounted in the turret, along with the missiles and 30 mm KCE revolver gun. The gun has a rate of fire of 1,200 rds/min, with programmable time-delay ammunition enhancing the probability of hitting even the smallest aerial targets. Skyranger 30 HEL made its public debut in 2021 during a counter-unmanned aerial vehicle event held by Swiss procurement agency armasuisse in Bure. Rheinmetall said current laser systems have a power output of 20 kW, with up to 50 kW planned for the first realisation phase, and the technology able to achieve 100 kW.

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