Defexpo 2010

Defexpo 2010 – Rheinmetall air defence systems: reliably countering the threat from above

Critical civilian infrastructure and military installations such as forward operating bases remain particularly vulnerable to aerial attack, and the same is true of troops on road marches and supply convoys in rear areas. The threat spectrum ranges from conventional air strikes by manned and unmanned aircraft to rocket, artillery and mortar (RAM) fire. Today, even unconventional forces employing asymmetric tactics are able to carry out attacks of this type, using increasingly small but powerful projectiles – launched with little or no warning and often from densely populated urban areas.

Armed forces around the world are well aware of this threat, as can be seen from recent procurement major orders. India, too, plans to modernize its air defence capabilities.

Defexpo 2010
Source: Rheinmetall Defence

Rheinmetall, one of the world’s leading suppliers of advanced defence technology systems, presented a wide array of sophisticated air defence solutions at Defexpo 2010.

The company’s high-performance 35mm revolver gun, teamed with its signature Ahead airburst ammunition, can be integrated into numerous air defence systems. This weapon has been successfully deployed in NATO operations since 1996. It forms the main armament of Rheinmetall’s globally leading Skyshield system, which, for example, the German Bundeswehr is currently procuring for its Mantis very short-range air defence system (NBS C-RAM), to be used in defending forward operating bases. Given the possibility of integrating additional modular components, it signifies the arrival of a new generation of Germany’s comprehensive air defence system, the SysFla.

The heart of Rheinmetall’s proprietary Ahead technology is a high-precision time-delay projectile. At the optimum moment, it ejects a lethal cloud of heavy metal pellets, reliably neutralizing small and even very small targets – much the way a shotgun shell destroys a clay pigeon.

But Rheinmetall technology is by no means limited to static defence roles. Mobile applications are equally feasible. For example, the 35mm gun can be mounted on an antiaircraft tank, and thus be used to protect troops on the move from aerial threats. However, particularly when it comes to protecting supply routes, lighter, more mobile platforms can be a better bet. Rheinmetall has bridged the gap between static defence and armoured platforms by mounting a Skyshield gun on an all-terrain 8×8 vehicle made by its Indian partner Tata. The result is a swiftly available high-performance air defence solution.

Defexpo 2010
Source: Rheinmetall Defence

Existing Skyguard and Skyshield systems can also be retrofitted with Ahead technology. Moreover, owing to the modular orientation of its systems and technologies, Rheinmetall is able to bring additional components into play, creating multi-mission capabilities tailored to the needs of individual clients.

Recent orders by the German Bundeswehr, among others, once again underscore Rheinmetall’s status as a globally leading supplier of advanced, quickly available modular products for the modern military. In an age when new threats to national security can emerge overnight, this means maximum flexibility and maximum readiness.

Text- / Bildquelle (source): Rheinmetall Defence
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Corporate Sector Defence
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Oliver Hoffmann
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