German defence industry to produce new mobile SHORAD system for Bundeswehr

By Defence Industry Europe

Germany has taken a significant step to strengthen its air defence capabilities by commissioning the development of a new short-range air defence system (SHORAD). The decision, prompted by defence gaps highlighted by the conflict in Ukraine, involves an investment of approximately EUR 1.2 billion. This system aims to replace the country's long-retired Gepard anti-aircraft systems and other equipment.

 

The budget committee of the Bundestag approved the project on Thursday, entrusting a consortium of Rheinmetall, Diehl Defence, and Hensoldt with the development of the new system.

The contract between the German defence procurement agency and the industry is expected to be signed soon.

 

 

The SHORAD system is designed to protect troops at a tactical level from missile and drone attacks, as well as low-flying aircraft, particularly during deployment operations or while in transit. The system will focus on threats from both short ranges (starting from three kilometers) and very short ranges, mainly from small drones.

Rheinmetall’s Skyranger 30, a 30mm canon mounted on the Boxer APC, is likely to be the basis for the very short-range system, with vehicles still to be procured. For targets beyond three kilometers, Diehl’s IRIS-T SLS system will be employed.

 

 

Germany had previously relied on the Gepard anti-aircraft tank for very short-range air defence up to three kilometers, a system that was retired in 2010 to cut costs but has since gained prominence in the Ukraine conflict.

A critical aspect of the project is integrating the new system with Diehl Defence’s IRIS-T SLM medium-range air defences, which Berlin has already ordered, to create a multi-layered defence umbrella. Hensoldt will provide the radars for the system, expected to be operational by 2028.

 

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