Rheinmetall Secures €532M to Upgrade Austria's Skyguard Air Defence Systems

28 Austrian 35mm guns will be upgraded to the latest standard under SkyNex project
  • Defensemirror.com bureau
  • 09:55 AM, December 13, 2023
  • 320
Rheinmetall Secures €532M to Upgrade Austria's Skyguard Air Defence Systems

Rheinmetall has been awarded a contract by the Austrian defence ministry to undertake a comprehensive modernization of the country's existing Skyguard air defence systems.

The contract, named Project Skyguard Next Generation, was signed in Vienna in the presence of Austrian Minister of Defence Klaudia Tanner.

The €532 million order, excluding value-added tax, represents an important milestone for Rheinmetall and can be booked as an incoming order in December 2023. The project, with a duration of 48 months, is set to commence in February 2024.

The Skyguard Next Generation, part of Rheinmetall Air Defence's Skynex family of products, will involve the modernization of twenty-eight 35mm guns to the latest technology. The order comprises seven tactical units, each consisting of four 35mm guns, a sensor unit for airspace monitoring, and a command post. The contract also includes spare parts, training support, and 35mm Ahead ammunition. An option for an additional tactical unit is included in the agreement.

The Skyguard Next Generation system, based on existing weapons systems, will undergo a service life extension program. The 35mm Oerlikon twin guns will be modernized and integrated with high-precision target tracking capabilities and Rheinmetall’s Skymaster command system.

The system's mobility ensures maximum efficiency during military planning, allowing the guns to be dismounted and operated remotely for improved combat effectiveness. The Skynex system includes airspace surveillance, a weapon engagement center, and effectors, utilizing Oerlikon rapid-fire automatic cannons with a rate of fire of 1,000 rounds per minute and a maximum effective range of up to 4,000 meters.

The Skynex system represents an advancement in sensor technology, allowing networked application of multiple tactical units and integration into higher-echelon command and control systems. Rheinmetall’s programmable 35mm Ahead ammunition contributes to enhancing Skynex's capabilities in countering aerial targets.

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