Rheinmetall Eyes Leopard 1 Tank Upgrade with Skyranger System for Ukraine

Rheinmetall Eyes Leopard 1 Tank Upgrade with Skyranger System for Ukraine

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Rheinmetall is currently assessing the possibility of equipping Leopard 1 tanks for Ukraine with the Skyranger 35 short-range air defense turret system, according to Björn Bernhard, Head of Land Systems at Rheinmetall.

Bernhard indicated that Rheinmetall plans to develop a variant of the Skyranger 35 heavy self-propelled anti-aircraft gun.

The gun is specifically adapted to fit the Leopard 1 tank chassis.

“There are still a lot of Leopard 1 battle tanks on whose chassis we could put the Skyranger turret with the 35mm machine gun,” Bernhard noted.

Комплекс ППО малої дальності Skyranger 30 з ракетою SADM від MBDA. Червень 2024. Німеччина. Фото: hartpunkt / Lars Hoffmann

The installation of this module on the tank chassis offers several advantages, including increased ammunition capacity for a 35mm cannon and missiles, enhanced off-road mobility, and improved capability to navigate challenging terrain near the front lines.

Additional equipment can be integrated to enhance target detection and tracking capabilities, as well as increase the number of missiles ready for launch.

Bernhard noted that while this initiative isn’t currently the company’s top priority, the immediate focus is on refurbishing these tanks for transfer to Ukraine.

The Skyranger 35 system features a combat module equipped with a GDM-008 35mm gun capable of firing at a rate of 1000 rounds per minute. It can optionally accommodate a launcher for two FIM-92 Stinger or Mistral missiles.

The ammunition for the gun includes a variety of rounds, including shells with radio fuses, with a total capacity of 252 35mm shells.

The Skyranger 35 uses an AMMR multipurpose radar operating in the S-band, equipped with five antennas to provide complete 360-degree coverage for detecting small aerial targets.

Additionally, it features a passive Rheinmetall FIRST target detection system, which enhances the detection of small targets without emitting radar signals, thereby avoiding detection by enemy radio reconnaissance.

In previous reports, Militarnyi indicated that the upcoming Skyranger 30 air defense system will be equipped with Enforcer SADM anti-drone missiles.

These missiles leverage Enforcer technology to effectively engage small to medium-sized drones, ensuring a high probability of interception.

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