Mantis maximises protection - Indo14-Day3

07 November 2014

Rheinmetall Air Defence has brought to Indo Defence its complete Military Operations Other Than War/ Counter Rocket and Mortar (MOOTW/C-RAM) Oerlikon Skyshield, which has already been supplied to Germany under the name of Mantis (Outside Hall A).

This has been designed to protect forward operating bases against the increasing threat from indirect-fire weapons such as mortar bombs, artillery projectiles and rockets. A typical Oerlikon Skyshield system consists of two remote-controlled 35mm Oerlikon Revolver Gun Mk 2 fire units, one air-conditioned manned command and control unit, and one Oerlikon Skyshield remote sensor unit. All of these are palletised units that can be rapidly transported by land, sea or air.

A number of Oerlikon Skyshield systems can be coupled together to provide a total C-RAM defence capability through a full 360° under a central command and control unit.

The 35mm fire units use the Advanced Hit Efficiency And Destruction (AHEAD) ammunition, which has proved to have a very high kill probability against small targets. The 35mm AHEAD ammunition features a programmable fuze, which at the optimum moment ejects a lethal cloud of heavy metal sub-projectile payload at the target.

As well as being used in the C-RAM role, the AHEAD ammunition can be fired from upgraded twin 35mm GDF series towed antiaircraft guns used in conjunction with the trailer-mounted fire control system. The AHEAD 35mm ammunition is also highly effective against unmanned aerial vehicles and conventional air threats such as attack helicopters.

The Oerlikon Revolver Gun Mk 2 has a cyclic rate of fire of up to 1,000 rounds a minute. A total of 252 rounds of ready-use 35mm ammunition is carried, which is sufficient for 14 target engagements. Traverse is a full 360°, with weapon elevation from -10 to +85°.

The sensor unit includes surveillance and tracking radars plus a TV/infrared sensor package that includes a laser rangefinder. The command and control unit can be several hundred metres from the other elements and has two operators, one for command and engagement control and the other for tracking.

The first Oerlikon Skyshield version is for deployment in the static role, but Rheinmetall Air Defence has also proposed a more mobile version, which has elements based on 6x6 or 8x8 cross-country truck chassis.

While the Mantis system was originally developed by Rheinmetall Air Defence to meet the requirements of the German Army, all of its air defence systems have now been transferred to the German Air Force.

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