The Rheinmetall Skyranger 30 turret and its anti-drone missile are preparing to establish themselves in Europe

At the start of 2024, the German Ministry of Defense announced the order for 19 SHORAD Skyranger 30 systems mounted on Boxer 8×8, from a consortium formed by Rheinmetall, Hensoldt and Diehl Defense.

However, to face new threats, in particular attack drones and lurking munitions, the use of MANPADS missiles, designed to intercept heavier and more efficient planes and helicopters, is proving ineffective, particularly in the field economical, while the single cannon has a protection perimeter too small to cover, for example, a unit in combat.

It is in this context that MBDA Deutschland announced the development of a new light and economical surface-to-air missile, intended to arm the Skyranger 30 turret, to effectively meet this need. Thus equipped, it will be even more essential, whether in Europe or on the international scene, while the fight against drones represents a priority for most armies today.

The urgent need for an economical medium-calibre SHORAD Mobile, highlighted in Ukraine

If the war in Ukraine is not, strictly speaking, the first during which drones were intensively used, it is nevertheless the first in which these same drones took on central importance in almost all its aspects.

meance drones ukraine
The war in Ukraine is the first during which drones play a decisive role at all levels of engagement, making anti-drone warfare a strategic capability for both armies.

Therefore, the fight against these drones, of all sizes and functions, is now at the heart of the concerns of both Ukrainian and Russian military headquarters, and consequently, of manufacturers who must provide them with solutions.

In Russia, the phenomenon had been somewhat anticipated, after the setbacks encountered in Syria and Libya. If they are still far from optimal, the first developments of the TOR and Pantsir systems, made it possible to partially answer it, in particular through the development of lighter and more economical missiles, intended to intercept these threats.

Ukraine, for its part, has turned to more rustic means, favoring the use of anti-aircraft artillery and MANPADS missiles. This is how the 30 mm gepard systems, transferred by Germany to the Ukrainian armies, are today among the systems most appreciated by Ukrainians in the fight against drones, notwithstanding the difficulties in supplying ammunition, even though they were considered obsolete by the Bundeswehr until recently.

Ukrainian Gepard
Considered obsolete by the Bundeswehr until recently, the Gepard has proven to be very effective against Russian drones.

The Bundeswehr has since revised its position. At the beginning of the year, she ordered 19 Skyranger 30 systems at German Rheinmetall, to replace the Gepards supplied to Ukraine.

To respond to the threat posed by these drones, and more particularly light drones and lurking munitions, the missile manufacturer MBDA Deutschland has announced the development of a new light, and above all economical, anti-aircraft missile, 9 examples of which will be able to take place in the Skyranger 30 turret launch pod.

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  1. It is true that the 40 mm CTA should be mounted on a mobile wheeled vehicle which would be agile and difficult to target.
    If it was also on a target sharing network it would be even better.
    Well, you wouldn't need 19, but 300 doesn't seem bad for a good mesh.

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