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Qatar unveils Skynex air defence

Revolver Guns in action during the QEADF's Exercise ‘Shield 6 (Skynex)'. (Qatari Ministry of Defence)

The Qatar Emiri Air Defence Forces (QEADF) now has the Rheinmetall Skynex short-range air-defence system, the Qatari Ministry of Defence (MoD) revealed on 13 October when it released a video showing components associated with the system during an exercise.

These included eight 35 mm Revolver Gun Mk3s and a single X-TAR3D target acquisition and tracking radar.

While these components can be used as part of Skyguard or Skyshield systems, the Qatari MoD said the exercise was called ‘Shield 6 (Skynex)' and resulted in an unspecified number of rotary and fixed-wing targets being shot down in record time at the Al-Qalayel range.

When it launched Skynex in 2016, Rheinmetall described it as an open, modular architecture that enables a wide range of sensors and effectors to be linked to form a “highly effective, largely automated system of systems” that can also interface with higher-echelon units. The Skymaster battle management system is the core component and can be linked via a tactical communications network to up to three X-TAR3D radars and 12 guns.

While Rheinmetall has not announced its Qatari contract, it said in October 2019 that an international customer it did not identify had placed a contract worth around EUR210 million (USD204 million) that included an unspecified number of Skymaster systems, X-TAR3D radars, and Revolver Gun Mk3s, with deliveries to be completed in 2022.

The package also included Ahead programmable air-bursting ammunition that is more effective against small targets out to a range of 4 km.

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