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Germany Delivers First Skynex Air Defense System to Ukraine.

| Defense News Army 2024

Berlin, Germany, January 4, 2024 – The German Ministry of Defense has confirmed the delivery of the first Skynex air defense system to Ukraine, along with necessary ammunition. This development comes after the initial announcement made on December 10, 2022, by Rheinmetall, a German defense company, regarding the order of two Skynex mobile air defense weapon systems for Ukraine.
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The Skynex air defense includes a 35mm revolver automatic cannon. (Picture source Rheinmetall)

The significance of supplying air defense systems to Ukraine, as requested by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, becomes evident in the wake of recent aerial attacks by the Russian army. These systems serve as a vital defensive measure, protecting cities, strategic facilities, and military units from aerial bombardments and missile attacks. Ukraine's need for robust air defense capabilities is underscored by the intensity and frequency of these attacks, which pose a constant threat to civilian safety and national security.

Ukrainian President Zelenskyy's request also underscores the international aspect of the conflict. It highlights the need for global cooperation and assistance in addressing security challenges posed by aggressive actions. The response from the international community, particularly in terms of military aid and political support, is crucial. It reflects not only on the immediate situation in Ukraine but also on the principles of national sovereignty and the international rule of law.

The Skynex air defense system, developed and designed by the German defense giant Rheinmetall, stands as a formidable shield against a broad spectrum of aerial threats, including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), helicopters, and fixed-wing aircraft. This system is a composite of several integral components: the Oerlikon Skyranger Gun, the Oerlikon Twin Gun, a versatile multi-mission radar, a sophisticated C4I system, an advanced electronic warfare system, and an array of surface-to-air missiles.

The system's engagement range and altitude capabilities hinge on the specific elements in use. The Oerlikon Skyranger Gun, equipped with a 35mm revolver cannon, and the Oerlikon Twin Gun, featuring a dual 35mm gun setup in a remote-controlled station, both excel in targeting within a range of up to 4,000 meters (approximately 2.5 miles) and at altitudes reaching 3,000 meters (around 9,842 feet).

Diverse in its missile arsenal, the Skynex system's reach and altitude engagement varies with the missile type. The Rheinmetall Oerlikon Surface-to-Air Missile (ROSAM), for instance, boasts an effective range of up to 6,000 meters (about 3.7 miles) and can target at altitudes up to 5,000 meters (approximately 16,404 feet). Meanwhile, missiles like the AIM-9X Sidewinder extend their reach to about 35 km (21.7 miles) and can engage at even higher altitudes.

The system's multi-mission radar plays a pivotal role in detecting, tracking, and identifying airborne threats, typically covering a detection range of 20-30 kilometers (12-18 miles), although this can vary based on the radar's configuration and target size. Skynex's autonomous functionality and its ability to integrate into larger air defense networks underscore its flexibility. Its modular design not only facilitates seamless upgrades but also enables adaptation to evolving threat environments.

This delivery marks a crucial step in international support for Ukraine, showcasing Germany's commitment to aiding the nation in its struggle against Russian aggression. The decision to provide such advanced military equipment reflects the seriousness of the situation and the need for effective defense mechanisms to protect Ukrainian cities and military assets.

Defense News January 2024

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