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Slovakia receives MANTIS C-RAM system from Germany

One of two MANTIS C-RAM systems received by the 11th Slovak Air Force Brigade Nitra from Germany on 24 October. (MOCR)

The 11th Slovak Air Force Brigade Nitra received two Modular, Automatic and Network-capable Targeting and Interception System (MANTIS) counter-rocket, artillery, and mortar (C-RAM) defence systems from Germany on 24 October, the Ministry of Defence of the Slovak Republic (Ministerstvo obrany SR: MOSR) announced on its website the same day. The ministry said the systems would reinforce the capabilities of Slovakia's ground-based air-defence (GBAD) capabilities on its eastern border with Ukraine.

MANTIS will protect critical national infrastructure in eastern Slovakia, according to the MOSR, which added that more than 100 Slovak military personnel have been trained to operate and maintain the system.

Attending the MANTIS handover ceremony, Slovak Defence Minister Martin Sklenár said the systems “are proof that our alliance pays off for Slovakia. Along with our engagement in support of Ukraine, it brings us countless benefits as well as security and protection guarantees, and, as we can see today, it also gives us opportunities to strengthen our own capabilities”.

MANTIS is based on an improved version of the Skyshield system originally developed by Oerlikon – now part of Rheinmetall – and fires 35 mm Advanced Hit Efficiency and Destruction (AHEAD) airburst munition to intercept and destroy RAM rounds before they reach their targets. Each of the two systems delivered to the Bundeswehr at the end of 2012 and donated to Slovakia consists of six 35 mm guns, two radars, a command post, a maintenance console, and an operator simulator.

MANTIS was designed to protect camps such as those used by German troops in Afghanistan but was only ever deployed to Mali at the end of 2017, albeit without its guns.

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