Austrian armed forces extend C-UAS contract with Rheinmetall following successful tests

The Austrian Armed Forces have extended the lease contract with Rheinmetall for the Counter-small Unmanned Aerial System (C-sUAS) delivered in May 2022 following successful tests. Rheinmetall’s deployable C-sUAS system is currently being evaluated by the Austrian Armed Forces alongside other systems as part of the Countering Emerging Air Threats (C-EAT) project. Following the successful tests, the Austrian Armed Forces have now extended the lease contract by seven months, says the company press release:

After the training on the system had been completed, the operational capability of the Rheinmetall C-sUAS system was to be tested as intensively as possible under real conditions. For this purpose, a sophisticated test programme was developed, which included both test and realistic attack flights by small drones. The aim was to detect and clearly verify these drones as early as possible using a broadly based sensor mix. A possible fight against these enemy drones was demonstrated by means of jammers. A special highlight was the introduction of the target queuing device by tablet from the higher-level command and control system to the jammer operator.

The large number of drones used – from commercially available drones to models with jet propulsion to self-built drones controlled according to the LTE mobile radio standard – clearly showed that modern drone defence can only be efficiently managed in a network, according to the press release.

The Austrian armed forces had selected Rheinmetall’s C-sUAS system and loaned it out for a six-month period of testing and evaluation. In May 2022 Rheinmetall Air Defence AG shipped the latest version of its rapidly deployable counter-small unmanned aerial system (C-sUAS) to the Austrian military. This lease contract has now been extended.

The system comprises two shelter units, enabling rapid deployment on standard trailers and trucks. The sensor unit elevates automatically and can be equipped with various detection technologies, including X-band and S-band radar, passive emitter locator, ADS-B receiver and others if required. An integrated, stabilized 360° electro-optical PTZ sensor provides verification and tracking capabilities.

Based on the Oerlikon Skymaster command and control system, the separate C2 shelter is a fully fledged operator workstation. Skymaster delivers sensor data fusion and multiple operational functions, including scalability to integrated target cueing devices and effectors for different countermeasures as well as links to higher echelons.

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