The German Ministry of Defence (MoD) presented its technical proposal for ground-based air defence (GBAD) to the Bundestag, the federal parliament, on 23 March.
Among the systems Rheinmetall is offering for NNbS is its Skyranger 35, pictured being demonstrated against UAVs at its Ochsenboden firing range in Switzerland in September 2018. (Rheinmetall)
The ministry said in a press release the same day that the first step would be to upgrade its Patriot air defence system starting in 2023 to retain existing missile defence capabilities for the rest of the decade.
In addition, in a second step no later than 2026, new anti-air and anti-unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) capabilities will be developed through the initial qualification of a Nah- und Nächstbereichsschutz (short- and very short-range air defence, NNbS) system that will replace the Wiesel 2 Ozelot light air defence system, which the German MoD described as “outdated [and] qualitatively and quantitatively inadequate”.
The ministry identified a high potential for European co-operation on this project. In addition to Germany’s existing air defence co-operation with the Netherlands through Project Apollo, the MoD pointed to the possibility of co-operating with other EU and NATO countries to promote the development of European anti-air and counter-UAV capabilities.