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DSEI 2023: Rheinmetall introduces larger-calibre gun in latest Skyranger

The Skyranger 35 is an unmanned 35 mm air-defence turret that in this case has been fitted to a Boxer module. The turret is housed atop the module and consumes an insignificant amount of internal volume. (Janes/Christopher Petrov)

Rheinmetall displayed a new mobile cannon-based air-defence solution at DSEI 2023 in London.

Rheinmetall has already developed the Skyranger 30 and its new Skyranger 35 introduces a larger-calibre gun, using the 35 mm revolver gun design that is also employed on its semi-mobile and static air-defence solution, Skynex.

Pascal Büchler, vice-president at Rheinmetall Air Defence, told Janes that the Skyranger 35 is being marketed to customers who prefer cannon- and missile-based air defence to be separated onto distinct platforms. Given the additional weight of the 35 mm cannon over the 30 mm used on the Skyranger 30, a missile pod for the Skyranger 35 is not currently offered. Aside from armament differences, the user interfaces for the Skyranger turrets are the same.

In contrast to the Cold War-era cannon-based air-defence and self-propelled anti-aircraft gun systems, technology advancing the firepower of these cannons and their rates of fire now allows modern solutions to use a single cannon over the previously common multicannon designs. With the addition of specialised ammunition types, such as the Advanced Hit Efficiency And Destruction (AHEAD) ammunition, these cannons are better suited for contemporary threats, such as quadcopters and fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicles.

This turret would be Rheinmetall's 35 mm air-defence solution for use on mobile platforms, with the other 35 mm solution – the Oerlinkon Revolver Gun Mk III turret – reserved for use with the semi-mobile and static Skynex system.

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