Rheinmetall demonstrates Skyranger Gun air defense system anti-UAV capabilities

The fourth edition of the 35mm Air Defence Systems Group took place at the Rheinmetall facilities in Zurich, Switzerland, from 17 to 19 September 2018. The highlight of the event was a live firing demonstration of the Oerlikon Skyranger Gun and the Oerlikon Twin Gun GDF009 EO at the Ochsenboden firing range.

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Rheinmetall's Oerlikon Skyranger Gun Mobile 35 mm Air Defence Gun, based on the Boxer 8x8 multirole armoured vehicle personnel carrier

In partnership with Raytheon and Kongsberg, the German defense giant also introduced a new “Patriot and Below Concept” to existing and potential customers and to journalists.

A layered air defense system, the Patriot and Below Concept involves the Raytheon Patriot, Kongsberg’s NASAMS and the Rheinmetall Oerlikon Skyranger Gun. The three companies demonstrated their system capabilities within a detailed war game, using multiple air defense systems to annihilate short-range and medium-range ballistic targets, while simultaneously conducting an anti-aircraft and anti-cruise missile operation. The scenario successfully concluded with Rheinmetall’ systems automatically targeting and destroying moving and static small UAVs. Command and control capability was provided from a NASAMS fire distribution centre (FDC) together with a Skymaster system.

This concept came as Germany and Switzerland both issued requirement for a new Air Defense System. Switzerland issued a tender on September 21, 2018, to the Company Rafael for the David's Sling, to France for the Eurosam SAMP/T and to United States for the Patriot. All three Companies will have to send their offer by the end of March 2019.

Unveiled during Eurosatory 2018, the Oerlikon Skyranger Gun is a high-mobility, highly effective, future-proof wheeled armoured air defence vehicle based on the battle-tested Boxer, born and bred for network-enabled operations.

The heart of the new Oerlikon Skyranger Boxer is the air defence module, equipped with an Oerlikon Revolver Gun Mk3 turret. The system features an integrated sensor unit with X-band tracking radar and electro-optical sensors as well as electronic warfare components. This enables swift, autonomous engagement of externally assigned targets.

The Skyranger can receive and process target data from both 2D and 3D search radars. Furthermore, the integrated search sensor technology and Oerlikon Skymaster battle management system give the Skyranger an autonomous sector-monitoring and target engagement capability. The tried-and-tested 35mm x 228 cal. Revolver Gun delivers massive firepower and excellent precision. Teamed with Rheinmetall’s proprietary Ahead airburst ammunition, the Oerlikon Revolver Gun Mk3 is extremely effective against low altitude aerial targets of virtually every type.

The GDF009 EO twin-gun air defense system is a new modification of the 35-mm anti-aircraft guns manufactured in 1961 and purchased no less than 36 countries. The GDF009 EO in the standard configuration consist of two 35-mm automatic cannon Oerlikon KDC with a rate of fire of 550 rounds per minute per gun. It fires 35 x 228 mm standard projectiles and has an effective range of 4,000 m in the air defence role. Target information is fed to the weapon by an associated fire-control unit (FCU) such as the Oerlikon Skyguard, with a Skyguard FCU typically managing two GDF-009 AAGs.