German defense manufacturer, Rhinemetall, has revealed that its Skyranger 30 HEL, a hybrid air defense system will be capable of firing guided missiles and laser beams at aerial threats. Additionally, the Skyranger 30 HEL also has a 30 mm automatic cannon, completing its range of offerings to counter any type of aerial threats.
Militaries around the world are looking to find ways that can integrate high-energy weapons in their arsenal to combat the increasing threat from cheaply assembled drone swarms as well as sophisticated drones of adversaries. The weapon systems are being tested excessively and are in different stages of their deployment. However, these are dedicated systems that need to be deployed in high-risk areas, along with the conventional modes of defense.
The Skyranger 30 HEL is Rhinemetall’s attempt at combining the conventional and futuristic needs of defense in one neat package that will neutralize aerial threats and scan the skies for them autonomously. It is a perfect example of ground-based air defense systems and sensing technologies to provide the ultimate solution for thwarting all sorts of aerial threats.
The 30 mm revolving gun can fire up to 1,200 rounds a minute and has a programmable time delay ammunition that enables it to target even the smallest of targets. The guided air missiles increase the Skyranger’s range and operational flexibility. The High Energy Laser (HEL) is now configured to deliver outputs of 20kW but can be increased to 100kW.
The hybrid system uses a matching mix of sensors to scan the skies for aerial threats and autonomously chooses the response to an arriving threat. This is done so the collateral damage is minimal at all times.
The SkyRanger HEL was publicly presented at a counter-drone event organized by the Swiss procurement agency late last year.