ua en ru

Ukraine receives additional Skynex system capable of destroying drone swarms: Closer look

Ukraine receives additional Skynex system capable of destroying drone swarms: Closer look Air defense system Skynex (Photo:
Author: Daria Shekina

Another air defense system, Skynex, was transferred to Ukraine from Germany along with other weaponry as part of the newly announced aid package on January 4th. The system is known for its capability to destroy drone swarms, aircraft, and cruise missiles.

For more details about the Skynex air defense system, its capabilities, and specifications, check out the material on RBC-Ukraine.

The developer and manufacturer of the Skynex air defense system is the German company Rheinmetall. The system is relatively new, having been introduced in the fall of 2021.

Skynex in Ukraine

Plans to transfer such weaponry to Ukraine became known from the German press in December 2022 when the arms conglomerate took on the production of the air defense system for the Ukrainian Defense Forces. It was expected that Ukraine could receive two units of Skynex no earlier than 2024.

According to Handelsblatt, Rheinmetall estimated the cost of the two systems at 182 million euros, with the costs covered by the German government.

However, at the end of April last year, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal announced that Skynex short-range air defense systems were already on active duty in Ukraine.

Moreover, in July, Rheinmetall stated that in the second half of 2023, Ukraine would receive two advanced Skynex air defense systems.

Features of Skynex

Skynex is designed for short-range air defense, similar to the German self-propelled anti-aircraft guns Gepard, which have long been used by the Ukrainian Armed Forces. This system is capable of shooting down drone swarms, cruise missiles, and aircraft using 35-millimeter ammunition.

Specifically, Skynex's demonstration in enofging multiple UAVs using the 35mm Oerlikon Mk3 cannon was showcased during testing two years ago.

The modularity of the air defense system's control block allows for the connection of only those systems relevant to a specific task.

According to expert assessments, Skynex, much like the IRIS-T systems transferred to Ukraine by Germany, represents a highly precise air defense capability. However, Skynex is attributed with a certain financial advantage compared to other systems. For instance, the cost of downing an aircraft is approximately 4,000 euros for Skynex, whereas the price for intercepting a missile using IRIS-T ranges from 300,000 to 500,000 euros.

It's worth noting that the previously supplied medium-range IRIS-T air defense system is capable of engaging targets up to 40 kilometers away, while Skynex's anti-aircraft guns are effective up to 4 kilometers. Both systems, though, are considered highly accurate.

Characteristics of the Skynex

The technology includes the Oerlikon Skymaster management and control system. Additional equipment and weapon systems can be integrated into this complex, such as the Oerlikon X-TAR3D Tactical detection radar, the 35mm paired Oerlikon GDF009 TREO gun, the Oerlikon laser gun, and the new Denel Cheetah C-RAM (Counter-Rocket, Artillery Mortar) missile.

The included anti-aircraft 35mm Oerlikon Mk3 system has an effective firing range of 4 km and a firing rate of 1,000 shots per minute.

Ukraine receives additional Skynex system capable of destroying drone swarms: Closer look

Photo: The 35mm cannon is capable of targeting objectives up to 4000 meters away (

The gun module is equipped with an X-Band tracking radar, which provides autonomous sector search functionality. Target tracking and engagement are automatically performed thanks to the built-in fire control processor.

The system can be remotely operated from another location. Oerlikon Skymaster significantly expands ground-based air defense capabilities.

Ukraine receives additional Skynex system capable of destroying drone swarms: Closer lookPhoto: Oerlikon Skymaster fire control system (

Its primary advantage is touted as the display of a comprehensive air picture based on data from all available sources, effective real-time threat assessment, an algorithm for assigning intelligent weapons, coordinating various weapon systems, and fire control in a flexible system architecture.

It's worth mentioning that earlier, Germany updated the list of military aid provided to Ukraine. Specifically, Berlin transferred additional Gepard anti-aircraft guns to the Ukrainian Armed Forces.