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Slovakian army to receive both German MANTIS air defense systems.

| 2023

According to a tweet posted on February 9 by Jaroslav Nad, Slovakian Minister of Defense, Germany will offer for free two MANTIS (Modular, Automatic and Network capable Targeting and Interception System) air defense systems to Slovakia.
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MANTIS (Modular, Automatic and Network capable Targeting and Interception System) air defense system (Picture source: Rheinmetall)

MANTIS, formerly titled NBS-C-RAM (Nächstbereichschutzsystem Counter Rocket, Artillery, and Mortar), was inducted in the German Air Force on January 1, 2011, from Rheinmetall Air Defence to protect German military camps abroad. The NBS C-RAM system is supposed to detect, track and shoot down incoming projectiles before they can reach their target within very close range. The system itself is based on Oerlikon Contraves' Skyshield air defense gun system. It is a stationary air defense system for short and close ranges with its 35mm automatic guns. Each of these guns can fire up to 1,000 rounds per minute. More precisely, a MANTIS consists of two sensor units with search radar, tracking radar, TV camera, infrared camera, a laser range finder, and an operating and fire control center operating the 35mm turrets. It takes four men to operate a system.

The guns fire programmable AHEAD rounds that explode a few meters ahead of the target and destroy it with a cloud of 152 tungsten sub-projectiles weighing 3.3g (51gr) each. It was developed by Rheinmetall Weapons and Munitions - Switzerland (formerly Oerlikon Contraves Pyrotec).

Originally, the German Army ordered a first batch of two systems in 2009, to be delivered in 2013, with two more systems planned to follow later, but were never bought. Both MANTIS systems have been transferred to the German Air Force, which is now responsible for all air defense tasks. The first two systems cost around €110.8 million, plus another €20 million for training and documentation purposes. In a follow-on contract, worth around €13.4 million, Rheinmetall will also deliver the corresponding ammunition to the Bundeswehr.

Now, Germany is offering Slovakia both its MANTIS systems that are in service. They are intended to be stationed in the east of Slovakia, on the border with Ukraine. The Slovakian operators will be trained in Germany.

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