Germany Buys Boxer-Mounted Skyranger 30 Air Defense Turrets

Germany has awarded Rheinmetall a contract to supply Boxer-mounted Skyranger 30 short-range air defense systems for the armed forces.

Costing 595 million euros ($644 million), the delivery will cover a prototype and 18 series production systems with an option for 30 more. Berlin will receive the prototype by the end of 2024.

The Skyranger 30 was developed to counter drones, fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, cruise missiles, and loitering munitions under networked or autonomous controls.

Unveiled in 2021, it is based on previous Skyranger variants but with decreased mass to enable integration with lighter 6×6 military vehicles.

The latest Skyranger is fitted with a 30-millimeter cannon also found in Saab 37 Viggen fighter jets. This weapon has a firing rate of 1,200 rounds per minute and an effective range of 3 kilometers (1.86 miles).

Meanwhile, its launching capability can deploy up to two short-range surface-to-air warheads guided by infrared homing and laser beaming for targets 5 to 8 kilometers (3 to 5 kilometers) away.

Recent Skyranger 30 Projects

In 2023, European industry partner MBDA unveiled a four-missile launcher concept for the Skyranger 30, doubling its projectile capacity over the standard model.

Skyranger turret mounted on Lynx infantry fighting vehicle.
Skyranger turret mounted on Lynx infantry fighting vehicle. Photo: Rheinmetall via Twitter

Before Germany’s intent to procure the Skyranger 30, Austria partnered with Rheinmetall to procure 36 Skyranger 30s for Vienna’s upcoming Pandur armored vehicles.

The Hungarian government also awarded the Dusseldorf company a contract in December 2023 to equip its Lynx infantry fighting vehicle with the system.

Seven months earlier, Denmark selected the turret to address the air defense requirements of its army and NATO-related operations.

Preparing for Qualification

Throughout multiple Skyranger 30 orders, Rheinmetall will continue to test the Skyranger 30 for its system qualification under the German military through mid-2024.

The company held a live-fire activity last month in Ochsenboden, Switzerland, to validate the turret in its stationary and mobile modes.

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