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Germany’s military procurement agency, the Federal Office for Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw), signed a development contract with the Short- and Very Short-Range Air Defence System consortium (ARGE NNbS) for the ‘Air Defence System, Short- and Very Short-Range’ (LVS NNbS) on 25 January 2024.

Set up in 2021, ARGE NNbS consists of three member companies: Rheinmetall Electronics of Bremen, Diehl Defence of Überlingen, and Taufkirchen-based Hensoldt Sensors.

The contract is worth around EUR 1.2 billion (including VAT), with Rheinmetall receiving EUR 607 million, Diehl EUR 339 million and Hensoldt EUR 284 million, reflecting their respective workshares.

“Making sure that Germany lives up to its role as NATO’s lead nation in ground-based air defence and the European Sky Shield Initiative, the introduction of the LVS NNbS is a decisive step, closing one of the Bundeswehr’s significant capability gaps,” Rheinmetall stated in a press release.

The core objective of the LVS NNbS development project is to optimise medium-range air defence as well as developing high-mobility air defence capabilities to protect manoeuvre forces from aerial threats – even when on the move.

Key objectives of the project include achieving the necessary networking of individual components; integration of the medium-range IRIS T-SLM missile; assuring interoperability; and extending the intercept zone to include short-range threats. Networking will enable connection to the IRIS T-SLM fire units currently under procurement as well as to the Skyranger 30 ground-based mobile air defence system to be procured in future.

“By bundling complementary core capabilities – including those of other German defence contractors – ARGE NNbS brings together the foundational knowledge, capabilities and expertise needed to meet the requirements,” Rheinmetall stated. “In the process, key technologies will stay in Germany, where they will be preserved and perfected.”

The LVS NNbS system to be delivered by the ARGE NNbS consortium is intended to deliver high-mobility air defence capabilities to protect manoeuvre forces from aerial threats. (Image: ARGE NNbS)