Ground Warfare

Rheinmetall to Develop New Skyranger 30 Turret for Hungarian Army Lynx KF41

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Rheinmetall to Develop New Skyranger 30 Turret for Hungarian Army Lynx KF41

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Rheinmetall Awarded Development Contract for Lynx Skyranger 30 Air Defence Vehicle in Hungary
Rheinmetall Awarded Development Contract for Lynx Skyranger 30 Air Defence Vehicle in Hungary

The aim of the Hungarian Ministry of Defence is to develop the Hungarian Defence Forces into a 21st century, high-tech military force, both in terms of personnel and equipment, capable of defending Hungary and fulfilling the country’s international obligations. However, the modernisation of the equipment is not merely about procurement but continuous development is also part of the process. The air defence turret is an important component of the Lynx armoured fighting vehicle, which is one of the cutting edge systems of the Hungarian Defence Forces and is considered one of the most modern ones in the world. Its importance is underlined by the experience of current security challenges. Active defence against low-flying, small aircraft – drones – and conventional air targets is now essential for the effective deployment of armoured capabilities.

Under the latest agreement between the Hungarian Defence Forces and its strategic partner Rheinmetall, the German defence industry giant has been awarded a contract to develop the Lynx Skyranger 30 short-range air defence turret. Based on the chassis of Lynx introduced in the Hungarian Defence Forces, the 21st century-compliant device will provide direct air defence cover for the heavy brigade equipped with modern combat vehicles, while also extending the range of Lynx variants. During the Second World War, the Hungarian Army used Hungarian-developed “Nimród” self-propelled anti-aircraft guns for the same role, but the capability disappeared from the Hungarian Defence Forces during the ill-considered force reduction program. The Skyranger 30 marks the re-establishment of the Short Range Air Defence as a combat branch.

Skyranger 30 short range air defense turret system.
Skyranger 30 short range air defense turret system fitted with a modified version of the Oerlikon KCA 30 mm cannon. (Photo by Rheinmetal)

The Lynx is a German armoured fighting vehicle developed by Rheinmetall Landsysteme. The Lynx family has been designed as a highly protected tracked armoured vehicle to fill a gap identified in the market by Rheinmetall. Lynx was designed as a private venture by Rheinmetall to provide customers with a modern fighting vehicle that will be able to counter emerging near peer threats whilst maintaining the ability to conduct asymmetric or peace-keeping operations. A key feature of the Lynx design concept is the separation and modularity of the vehicle into two primary parts: the basic vehicle and specialist mission and role equipment. On 17 August 2020 the government of Hungary and Rheinmetall Group signed a contract to start manufacturing the Lynx infantry fighting vehicle family in Hungary. The factory building near Zalaegerszeg is ready with a planned production rate of 50 Lynx vehicles / year. A government document published in June 2021 talks about 256 Lynx IFVs being ordered.

Lynx Air Defence variant with autocannon and missiles especially designed to counter drones. The government of Hungary signed a MoU in 2021 about developing a Lynx-based air defense vehicle, using the Skyranger 30 turrets with Mistral missiles. Rheinmetall receives development order from Hungary for Skyranger 30 turret for the future Lynx KF41. Value of the order 30 million EUR and it covers the integration of the Mistral missiles as well. 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.

Rheinmetall to Develop New Skyranger 30 Turret for Hungarian Army Lynx KF41
The production of the first Hungarian-made Lynx IFV has started in Rheinmetall’s newly built Zalaegereszeg plant on 12th of January, 2023. (Photo by Rheinmetal)

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