Slovakia fortifies Eastern border with two German MANTIS air defense systems


As reported on October 24, 2023, the Slovak Ministry of Defense officially received two MANTIS (Modular, Automatic, and Network-capable Targeting and Interception System) air defense systems from Germany during a ceremony held at the 11th Air Force Brigade of the Slovak Armed Forces in Nitra. These advanced systems are set to strengthen the protection of Slovakia's eastern border with Ukraine, which is currently maintained by the Slovak Armed Forces.
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The two MANTIS air defense systems will be integrated into the 11th Air Force Brigade stationed in Nitra, with the primary role of protecting strategically important assets in eastern Slovakia (Picture source: Slovak MoD)


The ceremony was attended by various dignitaries, including the Slovak Minister of Defense, Martin Sklenár, and senior military officials. Notably, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Slovak Armed Forces, Lieutenant General Ľubomír Svoboda, and Deputy Chief of the Bundeswehr, Lieutenant General Markus Laubenthal, were among the distinguished guests present.

The MANTIS systems will be integrated into the equipment of the 11th Air Force Brigade stationed in Nitra, with the primary role of protecting strategically important assets in eastern Slovakia. Over a hundred soldiers have undergone training, including technical instruction and live-fire exercises, to ensure their proficiency in air defense operations.

Each MANTIS system consists of an array of components, including six automated cannons (expandable to eight), two sensor stations, and a central command post. The acquisition from Germany also includes five long-range radar systems with a reach of up to 100 km. The German partners have also provided training for Slovak soldiers to ensure their adept operation and maintenance of these advanced systems.

The MANTIS (Modular, Automatic, and Network-capable Targeting and Interception System) is an advanced air defense system developed by Rheinmetall. It is designed to provide protection against a variety of airborne threats, including missiles, artillery shells, drones, cruise missiles, and more. The system combines modularity, advanced sensor integration, a high rate of fire, and all-weather capabilities.

The MANTIS, formerly designated as NBS C-RAM, offers a full 360-degree surveillance and protection capability, ensuring that threats from any angle can be detected and neutralized. The high rate of fire, with each gun capable of firing up to 1,000 rounds per minute, allows for rapid engagement of multiple incoming threats. Its effective range extends up to 3 km, providing substantial defense coverage, especially for safeguarding key installations and facilities.

Modularity is a key attribute, enabling the system to be customized to meet specific mission requirements and adapt to different operational environments. The integration of various sensors, such as radar, TV cameras, infrared cameras, and laser rangefinders, ensures accurate detection, tracking, and engagement of targets.

The system is primarily deployed to protect installations and fixed objects. It is well-suited for safeguarding field camps, airbases, and other critical facilities. Regardless of weather and lighting conditions, the system operates reliably, making it an effective air defense solution both day and night.

In terms of technical specifications, the system comprises several components. The Control and Fire Control Center has transport dimensions of 2.6 m in height, 2.4 m in width, and 5.9 m in length, with an empty weight of 14.22 tons and a maximum payload of 1.78 tons.

The Sensor Unit is equipped with radar sensors, including search radar, follow radar, and IFF (Identification Friend or Foe), along with other sensors such as TV cameras, infrared cameras, and laser rangefinders. Its dimensions are 3.0 m in height, 2.4 m in width, and 3.0 m in length, with a weight of approximately 3.5 tons.

The guns, with a caliber of 35 mm, stand at 2.1 m in height, 2.4 m in width, and 5.5 m in length, with a weight of around 5.8 tons. They employ modern shrapnel ammunition, capable of a rate of fire of 1,000 rounds per minute and a muzzle velocity of 1,050 m/s. The guns fire in salvos of 36 rounds against RAM (Rolling Airframe Missile) targets.


Slovakia MANTIS air defense system Germany 925 002

The guns of the MANTIS employ modern shrapnel ammunition and can have a rate of fire of 1,000 rounds per minute. (Picture source: Bundeswehr)