In December 2022, a EUR 182 million contract was signed by the German defence giant Rheinmetall for two Skynex air defence systems intended for Ukraine. The second system is expected to be delivered to the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the coming months.
The Skynex air defence systems are set to significantly enhance the Ukrainian army’s ability to counter various airborne threats, including unmanned aerial systems, kamikaze drones, and low-flying cruise missiles.
Skynex, which relies on automatic cannon-based air defence, is particularly effective in very short-range scenarios where guided missiles are less efficient. The use of programmable 35mm Ahead ammunition, a Rheinmetall innovation, offers a cost-effective alternative to guided missile systems. Additionally, the ammunition’s immunity to electronic interference enhances its effectiveness. The success of the self-propelled Flakpanzer Gepard anti-aircraft system in Ukraine demonstrates the efficacy of 35mm gun-based air defence against aerial targets, particularly cruise missiles and drones, as noted by Rheinmetall.