Friday, May 31, 2024

Rheinmetall’s Skyranger 30 HEL designed to thwart future airborne threats

Rheinmetall Defense has introduced the Skyranger 30 HEL, a hybrid solution designed to thwart the full range of future airborne threats. Described as a modern mobile air defense unit, the Skyranger 30 HEL is the latest entry in a family that comprises four other variants so far.

The system can be fitted on both wheeled and tracked mobile platforms, such as the Boxer multipurpose wheeled armored vehicle, or the tracked Lynx KF41 armored vehicle. The effectors achieve maximum tactical impact thanks to the highly flexible Skymaster fire control system and state-of-the-art sensors. The Skyranger 30 HEL can monitor airspace autonomously while simultaneously selecting the optimum effector in response to emerging threats.

It comprises sensors and three different effectors – a 30mm automatic cannon, guided missiles, and a high-energy laser (HEL). Featuring a rate of 1,200 rounds per minute, the 30mmx173 KCE revolver gun is the world’s top-performing weapon in this caliber. It is capable of firing programable time-delay ammunition that enhances the possibility of hitting even the smallest aerial targets. The Skyranger 30 HEL’s guided missiles increase the system’s operational flexibility and maximum range.

In tests, the current technology sample systems for laser weapon systems have successfully achieved laser outputs of 20kW. Eventually, Rheinmetall plans for HEL to be able to deliver outputs of 100 kW from the system. The carrier platform’s sophisticated mechanical design assures 100% coverage of assigned airspace. Laser outputs of up 20-50 kW are planned for the first realization phase.

Late last year, the Skyranger HEL was presented in public for the first time at a counter-drone event held by the Swiss procurement agency armasuisse in Bure, Switzerland, sparking great interest from the experts present at the event.