Military forces and civilians often fall victim to unconventional attacks perpetrated by militias and terrorist groups. Denel and associate company Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM) collaborated on developing an offensive missile to be deployed against RAM projectiles – rockets, artillery and mortars.
Named after the fastest land animal on earth, the Cheetah C-RAM missile is integrated with the Oerlikon Skyshield gun-based air defence system from Rheinmetall Air Defence (RAD). “This combination provides an enhanced and very effective force protection system for unconventional and terrorist attacks,” said Denel Dynamics chief executive Tsepo Monaheng. Both the Cheetah C-RAM and the Oerlikon Skyshield are on display on Stand W7 in Hangar 4.
The Cheetah C-RAM missile system is seamlessly integrated into the Oerlikon Skyshield for a very powerful, layered air defence system, comprising a command post, one Skyshield sensor unit, two Oerlikon twin guns and up to two Cheetah missile launchers containing up to 60 missiles each. The system has a high level of automation and requires only a handful of operators for deployment. It provides area protection for forward bases at a 2.5km radius and can engage targets at a range of up to 6km.
“In modern asymmetric warfare, attacking groups have a wide range of platforms from which they can launch assaults against conventional force bases,” said RAD chief executive Stefan Meier-Deus.
“They use even small UAVs to gather information before launching rockets, artillery and mortar projectiles as disruptive strikes.”
The Oerlikon Skyshield gun system is already in operational use by the SANDF, identical to the C-RAM system used by the German Air Force, dubbed MANTIS.
According to Monaheng, the SANDF and other customers have a need to counter the threat of RAM and will contribute to the full-scale development and production of the C-RAM missile system. Denel Dynamics and RDM, in conjunction with RAD, have concluded a feasibility study and performance demonstrator to confirm the technological capability of such a missile solution.