The United Arab Emirates will supply its first indegenous air defense missiles to German’s Rheinmetall AG.
HALCON has been developing a short-range air defence system, as has Germany-based Rheinmetall AG, which was actively seeking a missile system to form part of its Skynex air defence system. The companies decided to jointly offer a solution, with HALCON providing SkyKnight, the missile system to the highly regarded Oerlikon Skynex Air Defence System, which the official said will set new standards with its unique open architecture.
HALCON’s SkyKnight was purposely designed to counter the full spectrum of modern threats, providing early warning signals and precise surface-to-air intercept capabilities targeting of rotary-wing aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) rockets, artillery, mortar, and other fixed-wing aircraft at a range of up to 10Km.
Commenting on the development, Faisal Al Bannai, EDGE Group CEO and Managing Director said: “SkyKnight is the UAE’s first, but will not be the last air defence missile developed by HALCON. It is one of several tremendous achievements announced as part of the nation’s aim to establish sovereign defence capabilities, and with the goal to address ever-evolving threats that are not well covered by many players in the market. We are pleased to team up with Rheinmetall, a leading player in the defence industry, to jointly offer the world’s most advanced and comprehensive C-RAM solution leveraging our SkyKnight missile and Rheinmetall’s Skynex solution. This collaboration is a clear message that EDGE is open to teaming up with various players to offer joint advance solutions.”
The Oerlikon Skynex air defence system comprises the Oerlikon Skynex control node, multi-sensor units (MSU) featuring active electronically scanned multi-mode radars (AMMR), multiple 35mm revolver guns RG Mk3 and HALCON’s SkyKnight C-RAM missiles and missile launchers, each of which has a capacity of 60 missiles. HALCON’s C-RAM missile is capable of tracking and neutralising numerous, multi-directional incoming targets at one time, providing protection for static assets, as well as for mobile and mechanised forces. Transportable and mobile, the system can be deployed fixed on land, sea and moving land platform.
Armin Papperger, CEO of Rheinmetall AG said: “Rheinmetall Air Defence’s technologies are well suited to cover the recently shown gaps in ground-based air defence against very challenging new threats. Combined with Rheinmetall Denel Munitions capabilities in missile technology, the cooperation of Rheinmetall and HALCON offers exciting new potential and a bright future.”
Rheinmetall AG, through its Swiss subsidiary, Rheinmetall Air Defence, has deployed the Skyguard system in numerous countries,. The system can bring down fast, small targets, and is used as the inner tier of layered air defence of vital points and critical military infrastructure. Countries that have rolled out Skyguard systems will ultimately upgrade to Skynex, placing HALCON, its SkyKnight C-RAM missile system, and the UAE at the forefront of air defence system innovation.
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