Aerial Warfare

Rheinmetall Presents LUNA NG Uncrewed Aircraft System at ILA Berlin 2024

Rheinmetall Presents LUNA NG Uncrewed Aircraft System at ILA Berlin 2024
Rheinmetall Presents LUNA NG Uncrewed Aircraft System at ILA Berlin 2024

Rheinmetall is presenting its comprehensive array of airspace protection solutions at the ILA Berlin 2024. As a holistic system provider, Rheinmetall is dedicated to ensuring the safety of both military and civilian airspaces. Among its impressive lineup, the LUNA NG airborne reconnaissance system stands out as a testament to Rheinmetall’s expertise in real-time surveillance and operational flexibility. The LUNA NG is an advanced uncrewed aircraft system (UAS) designed for real-time airborne surveillance, detection, and tracking. It features a robust yet ultra-light fuselage made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP), which grants it a flight time of over 12 hours and a data link range exceeding 100 kilometers. This range can be expanded to approximately 500 kilometers with optional SatCom equipment, covering an impressive spatial area of more than 30,000 square kilometers.

The aircraft can be made ready for take-off with little overhead
The aircraft can be made ready for take-off with little overhead. (Photo by Rheinmetall)

One of the key strengths of the LUNA NG system is its flexibility. It can be launched from virtually any location using a rope hoist catapult and lands autonomously via differential GPS in a net or by parachute. The system’s high level of automation ensures safe and reliable operations, requiring minimal training for operators. The compact ground station is designed for rapid deployment, fitting into small vehicles or cabins for easy transport, including by helicopter. With a current payload capacity of 30 kilograms distributed across two compartments, the LUNA NG serves as a multi-sensor platform capable of various missions. These range from reconnaissance and command capabilities to tactical applications involving active assets. The system’s versatility is further enhanced by an optional vertical take-off and landing kit, which reduces its operational footprint and allows for flexible deployments on land and at sea.

Ground control station
LUNA NG uncrewed aircraft system (UAS) ground control station. (Photo by Rheinmetall)

A cost-efficient modular system allows the LUNA NG aircraft to be specifically equipped with the required payload – including:

  • Modular payloads (incl. EO, IR, acoustics, spectrum analysing)
  • LTE network/comms relay/command post connection
  • Tactical SatCom intelligence
  • IMEI tracker
  • AI supported data evaluation
  • Sensor-to-shooter capabilities and connectivity
  • Integration of Electronic Support Measures (ESM)

LUNA NG uncrewed aircraft system (UAS) ready for action.
LUNA NG uncrewed aircraft system (UAS) ready for action. (Photo by Rheinmetall)

The LUNA NG is powered by a low-noise two-stroke twin-cylinder fuel-injected engine, enabling it to reach a service ceiling of up to 5,000 meters. It excels in reliability across different seasons and adverse weather conditions. A unique feature is its ability to perform driveless gliding flights with subsequent engine restart, allowing it to complete pre-programmed routes autonomously or be remotely controlled, even in radio shadow areas using a relay drone. Rheinmetall’s participation at ILA Berlin 2024 underscores its commitment to providing tailored protection solutions for both military and civilian sectors. The LUNA NG system exemplifies this commitment, offering unprecedented growth potential as a multipurpose UAS. Its sophisticated design and operational versatility make it an indispensable asset for modern airspace security operations.

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