Rheinmetall announced that they are due to modernise the Skyguard cannon-based 35 mm air defence systems of an unnamed customer in a contract valued “in the low three-digit million euro range”. According to the company, the systems will be upgraded to the modern Oerlikon GDF009 configuration. The work is due to commence in 2023, and will be performed by Rheinmetall Italia.
The GDF009 standard is capable of using Rheinmetall’s AHEAD programmable air burst ammunition. Each round is loaded with 152 tungsten sub-projectiles weighing 3.3 g each, and contains a time-based fuze to activate the dispersion of the sub-projectiles. This will enable the customer country’s armed forces to protect itself and its vital assets from a wide range of threats from the air – including small unmanned aerial vehicles (sUAVs). The GDF009 version is also typically offered with the Skyguard 3 fire control unit, which can be integrated into networked air defences.