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Jack Richardson

Diehl Defence put its new integration and test centre for modern ground-based air defence systems into operation at the beginning of July. The Röthenbach plant near Nürnberg is the first fabrication facility for complete systems in Germany and an expansion of national skills in the engagement of attacks and threats from the air. On the 3.4 hectare area, all system components – radar equipment, combat centre and missile launcher – are tested, installed on carrier vehicles and subsequently put into operation in a system network. From here, delivery to customers and armed forces takes place. In the centre of the circular test area, a 38-ton cargo lift is located, granting equipped radar vehicles, or other sensors, a 360° all-round visibility without hindrance at a height of eight metres above the ground.

With this major investment, the family-owned Diehl Group sets the course for a consistent expansion in the air defence field. At full capacity utilisation, up to four firing units with maximum five launchers each, plus radar and fire-control radar are supposed to be completed per year. A large number of new workplaces were created in the strictly shielded security control zone and the first deliveries for an export customer are already envisaged for this year. Launchers with the secondary missile for the future Tactical Air Defence System (TLVS) of the German Air Force are also supposed to be delivered from Röthenbach.

Germany not only has its own production line for overall systems of ground-based air defence but Diehl offers, among others, also solutions which, if required, are only based on system components of national manufacturers. All in all, this is a gain of independence, sovereignty and security of supply – also for Europe.