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Germany Buys Rheinmetall Air Defense Systems for Ukraine

Germany has contracted Rheinmetall to deliver two Skynex air defense systems to Ukraine for 182 million euros ($192 million).

The short-range systems are expected to be delivered by early 2024 along with HX trucks for an additional 12 million euros ($12.85 million).

Rheinmetall disclosed the contract on December 9 without revealing the recipient’s identity. German news outlet Handelsblatt later announced the customer, citing government sources.

Effective Against Drones

The automatic cannon-based system is particularly effective against fast-moving short-range targets such as drones, against which guided missiles are largely ineffective.

The system’s 35mm ammunition also costs far less than guided missiles and is immune to electronic jamming through electronic countermeasures.

Works With Various Weapons 

Skynex comprises the Oerlikon Skymaster battle management system, which can be linked with various sensors and effectors, such as the Oerlikon X-TAR3D tactical acquisition radar.

The radar provides the air picture to the control node, which assigns the target to autonomous effectors via the Skymaster network, Rheinmetall explained.

The system works with weapons such as the Oerlikon revolver gun Mk3, the Oerlikon twin gun GDF009 TREO, surface-to-air missiles, active and passive electronic warfare, and future high-energy lasers.

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