Air Defense: Skyranger the UAV Killer


January 23, 2024: Rheinmetall, has developed Skyranger 30, new turret-mounted air defense gun system equipped with an autocannon firing 30mm x 173mm shells at rates up to 1,350 a minute. Maximum aimed range is 2,500 meters. This cartridge is 50 percent heavier than the NATO standard 30mm shell. What makes Skyranger so useful is the sensors used by its fire control system detect small, low flying UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) while aiming and firing the 30mm autocannon to destroy these targets. The fire control system also connects with, and obtains target information from, external radar and target detection systems.

Skyranger sensors include a 3D AESA radar with an infrared (heat sensing) sensing that can operate continuously to detect any airborne objects within several kilometers. There is an optical (visual) sensor the operator of the Skyranger system can monitor to confirm that the target the system detected is one that is hostile and can be fired on. Otherwise, the system operator waits for another potential target or targets. In a situation where there are a lot of legitimate targets, Skyranger's fire control system allows all potential targets to be fired on and destroyed or put out of action.

In Ukraine, combat situations include numerous UAVs, some of them armed with explosives. Skyranger is designed to quickly clear the air of such threats. Several NATO nations are planning to equip some of their armored vehicles with Skyranger turrets. These turrets can be mounted on wheeled or tracked IFVs (Infantry Fighting Vehicles) or even older tanks like German Leopard 1 or Ukrainian T-64s.

If the war in Ukraine continues beyond 2024, vehicles equipped with Skyranger turrets will be available to help clear the air of Russian UAVs and low flying aircraft.




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