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Rheinmetall to Supply German Armed Forces with Skyranger 30 on Boxer Platform


Rheinmetall to Supply German Armed Forces with Skyranger 30 on Boxer Platform

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Rheinmetall to Supply German Armed Forces with Skyranger 30 on Boxer Platform
Rheinmetall to Supply German Armed Forces with Skyranger 30 on Boxer Platform

The Bundeswehr (German Armed Forces) has tasked Rheinmetall with another important air defence project. The Düsseldorf-based Group will soon be supplying the German armed forces with the Skyranger 30 mobile air defence system. Worth €595 million (including value added tax), the contract encompasses delivery of a prototype and another 18 series production vehicles. In addition, an option exists for a further 30 systems. The prototype is to be delivered by the end of 2024. Just last month, the Bundeswehr entrusted Rheinmetall and its partner contractors with developing a system for short- and very short-range air defence known as the NNbS, in which the Skyranger 30 will constitute a key component. An essential part of the NNbS, the Skyranger 30 is embedded in the German government’s European Sky Shield Initiative, in which Germany, acting within a NATO context, has assumed the role of lead nation in ground-based air defence in Europe.

The Skyranger 30 bridges an acute existing capability gap in mobile air defence. The system constitutes an optimum combination of mobility, protection, flexibility and precision, making it a match for new challenges in the short- and very short-range threat spectrum. A hybrid solution, the system’s turret combines the highly effective 30mm x 173 KCE revolver gun, surface-to-air missiles and the necessary sensor suite, all on a single platform. The Skyranger 30 systems earmarked for Germany will be armed with Stinger missiles. Depending on customer requirements, the system can be fitted with various modern guided missiles such as the Mistral, Stinger or special C-UAS missiles. A meticulously thought-out combination of different effectors, excellent mobility, a large elevation span and state-of-the-art sensors enable autonomous as well as networked operations. Thanks to Rheinmetall’s programmable airburst ammunition, the system is especially effective against drones. The compact turret is integrated into an 8×8 Boxer wheeled armoured vehicle.

Skyranger 30 Mobile Air Defence System
In December 2023, the A1 configuration of the Skyranger 30 underwent a successful testing and live-fire campaign at the Group’s Ochsenboden proving ground in Switzerland, in which the system had to prove itself in stationary and mobile modes. (Photo by Rheinmetall)

The first customer is Austria, which recently ordered thirty-six Skyranger 30 systems. Other NATO and/or EU member states have also expressed an interest in the system or are already in the process of procuring it. In December 2023, Hungary tasked Rheinmetall with developing a concept for a Skyranger 30 turret for the future air defence variant of the Lynx KF41 tracked armoured vehicle. Lithuania is also studying the Boxer-mounted Skyranger 30, while Denmark plans to procure the Skyranger 30 solution in combination with another wheeled armoured vehicle. As recently as December 2023, a functional demonstrator version of the Skyranger 30 underwent successful live fire field trials at the Group’s proving ground in Ochsenboden, Switzerland, proving itself in stationary mode and on the move. The functional demonstrator resulted in important new findings that will make fabrication and integration of the German verification model faster and less risk prone.

The Boxer is a multirole armoured fighting vehicle designed by an international consortium to accomplish a number of operations through the use of installable mission modules. The governments participating in the Boxer programme have changed as the programme has developed. The Boxer vehicle is produced by the ARTEC GmbH (armoured vehicle technology) industrial group, and the programme is being managed by OCCAR (Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation). ARTEC GmbH is based in Munich; its parent companies are Krauss-Maffei Wegmann GmbH and Rheinmetall Military Vehicles GmbH on the German side, and Rheinmetall Defence Nederland B.V. for the Netherlands. Overall, Rheinmetall has a 64% stake in the joint venture. Confirmed Boxer customers as of January 2024 are Germany, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Australia and the UK.

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