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Skynex deployment in Ukraine: Enhancing air defense capabilities

Skynex deployment in Ukraine: Enhancing air defense capabilities Photo: Skynex is cheap to use but powerful in destroying drones (

Germany has transferred another Skynex air defense system to Ukraine. This system is capable of intercepting drones and combating missiles without utilizing costly resources.

More information about the Skynex air defense systems, including its features and specifications - in the article by RBC-Ukraine below.

During the preparation of the material, sources such as the Rheinmetall defense concern website, Defense Express, Militarnyi, ArmyInform, and Wikipedia were used.


Skynex air defense system: characteristics, armament

Skynex is a surface-to-air artillery system developed by Rheinmetall. Introduced in November 2021, it belongs to the category of short-range air defense systems similar to the German Gepard self-propelled anti-aircraft guns. Its primary armament is the 35mm Oerlikon Mk3 automatic cannon with a firing range of 4000 meters and a rate of fire of 1000 rounds per minute. The cannon module includes an X-band tracking radar for autonomous target search.

Skynex demonstrated its capability by successfully intercepting a swarm of eight small UAVs during testing. It uses programmable 35mm AHEAD ammunition developed by Rheinmetall, which is more cost-effective compared to missile-based air defense systems. These ammunition types are immune to electronic countermeasures during firing.

Skynex deployment in Ukraine: Enhancing air defense capabilities

Photo: Germany gives Ukraine Skynex to strengthen its air defense (skynex rheinmetall com)

The system incorporates the Oerlikon Skymaster command and control system, allowing remote operation from any location. It comes equipped with both high-explosive fragmentation and armor-piercing projectiles. It particularly offers programmable AHEAD ammunition, which enhances firing efficiency and reduces ammunition expenditure, especially against complex and maneuverable targets.

One significant advantage of Skynex over other air defense systems is its cost-effectiveness. While a missile for IRIS-T can cost between €300,000 and €500,000, destroying an aerial target with Skynex can be as low as €4,000. The system itself costs $90.5 million.

In addition to countering drone swarms, Skynex can also engage cruise missiles and operate as part of an integrated air defense system, receiving target information from a centralized command center.

Skynex in Ukraine

In December 2022, German media reports citing sources revealed that Rheinmetall would manufacture two Skynex systems for an unnamed country, likely Ukraine. By April 2023, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal announced that Skynex was already operational in Ukraine's airspace. The first battery of the system, produced by Rheinmetall Italia and funded by the German government under a $160 million contract, was delivered that year.

Furthermore, Germany recently updated its military aid to Ukraine, including armored vehicles, ammunition, and the Skynex air defense system.