Austria to modernise air defence and C-UAS capabilities with Rheinmetall Skyguard systems

The Austrian defence ministry has contracted Rheinmetall to carry out a comprehensive modernization of its existing Skyguard air defence systems, according to a company press release. The two parties have now signed the contract for Project Skyguard Next Generation in Vienna. For Rheinmetall the order represents sales of EUR532 million (without value added tax), which can already be booked as an incoming order in December 2023. The contract encompasses a project period of 48 months starting in February 2024.

“On behalf of Austria, a neighbouring nation and close partner of Germany, Rheinmetall will be conducting one of the most ambitious air defence projects in Europe,” said the company in a press release. “For the Austrian Army, the undertaking is an important step in its “Mission Forward” rearmament programme to revamp the country’s armed forces.”

Skyguard Next Generation belongs to the Skynex family of products from Rheinmetall Air Defence. The order package for Austria comprises a total of seven tactical units, each consisting of four 35mm guns, a sensor unit for monitoring airspace and a command post.  In the process, twenty-eight 35mm guns currently in the customer’s inventory will be upgraded to the latest state of the art. The contract also includes spare parts, training support and 35mm ammunition. A contractually agreed option for ordering an additional tactical unit exists as well.

The Skyguard Next Generation system is based on existing weapons systems owned by the Austrian Army. As part of a service life extension programme, its existing 35mm Oerlikon twin guns will be completely modernized and linked to a high-performance target tracking capability and Rheinmetall’s Skymaster command system.

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(Image: Rheinmetall)

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