• Rheinmetall's SkyShield system. Credit: Rheinmetall
    Rheinmetall's SkyShield system. Credit: Rheinmetall

An unnamed Asian nation has contracted Rheinmetall to supply advanced air defence technology.

In a competitive bidding process, Rheinmetall Air Defence won the order to supply the customer with the latest generation of its Skyshield systems. The contract, booked in April of this year, is worth over $100 million.

Production of the systems is under way, and shipment will take place over the course of the next three years.

The contract includes reconnaissance sensors, 35mm fire units, the accompanying command and control equipment, and a comprehensive logistics and service package. Rheinmetall will be providing complete training for operators and maintenance personnel as well as technical assistance and live fire exercise support in the customer country.

Local companies will also take part in the project, including construction of buildings and vehicle procurement.

There is potential for elements of Skyshield to be used in an air defence system procured under Land 19 Phase 7B or Air 6500.

Rheinmetall’s 35 mm Millennium Gun can be used as a close-in system that could serve as an effective antidote to UAVs and other aerial or surface threats.

ADM Comment: Whilst ADM has previously covered the future potential for a directed energy short range defence system, the current state of that technology (and its immense energy requirements) make kinetic solutions the current go-to.

The question is which kinetic solution offers the most cost-effective means of countering cheaper offensive tech. This contract indicates that calculation has been made somewhere, and SkyShield has been selected as the best solution. The ADF may yet come to the same conclusion. We await further developments.

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