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Eurosatory 2024: KNDS offers new short-range air-defence systems

A VBMR-L Serval patrol vehicle displayed at Eurosatory 2024. (Janes/Christopher Petrov)

KNDS Group unveiled two new air-defence systems based on the 4×4 VBMR-L Serval patrol vehicle at the Eurosatory 2024 defence exhibition held in Paris from 17 to 21 June.

Raphaël Walker, product line manager for KNDS' Serval programme, said the new air-defence variants include a VBMR-L Serval equipped with a remotely operated weapons system (ROWS) armed with two Mistral 3 surface-to-air missiles and a rifle-calibre machine gun designed for close-in defence.

In the example configuration shown by KNDS, the vehicle has two seats in the front for a driver and commander, and three seats in the back for dismounts. To the rear of the driver is space for up to six missile containers that can be used to reload the ROWS, which must be done manually.

Alternatively, space can be allocated for a portable Mistral system, allowing the dismounts organic air defence once outside the vehicle. Robin Lambert, press officer at KNDS, said this configuration is open to change and would ultimately be decided by customer requirements, but that the French Armed Forces has already shown an interest.

A counter-unmanned aircraft system (C-UAS) VBMR-L Serval model was also shown, but in place of Mistral 3 missiles, the system was equipped with a 30 mm ARX 30 ROWS, engaging targets to a maximum of 1,500 m and firing up to 225 rds/min. Walker said the price of the ARX 30-equipped Serval's 30×113 mm ammunition, including a programmable airburst projectile, makes it more cost-effective to use against unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) than expensive missiles.

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