Skyshield 35

Quick Facts


Skyshield MOOTW/C-RAM

Skyshield High Energy Laser

Role and Mobility Short-Range Air Defense; Land-Based and Road-Mobile
Interceptors and Range

Rheinmetall’s Advanced Hit Efficiency and Destruction (AHEAD) Ammunition

Range: 4km


C4I Sensor Module

Fire Control-Antenna revolution targeting system

Targets Anti-Ship Missiles and Hostile Aircraft
Status/Exports Operational; Indonesia, South Africa and Switzerland
Designer/Producer Rheinmetall Air Defense AG


The Skyshield is an all-weather short-range air defense (SHORAD) system that was developed by Oerlikon Contraves.[i] It can be placed on a pallet or truck-mounted and has autonomous search and tracking capabilities.[ii] It uses a the Oerlikon 35/1000 Revolver Gun, which fires Rheinmetall’s Advanced Hit Efficiency And Destruction (AHEAD) ammunition.[iii] AHEAD ammunition consists of 35mm x 228 airburst munition (ABM) rounds which detonate in front of a target, at a predefined and programmable point in time, ejecting a plethora of spin-stabilized cylindrical tungsten sub-projectiles which use hit-to-kill interception to destroy the target.[iv] Because there are so many sub-projectiles, the Skyshield has an enhanced kill probability.[v]

Skyshield 35: The Skyshield 35 was the original SHORAD system.

Skyshield “Military Operations Other Than War” (MOOTW)/C-RAM: A variant of the Skyshield 35 designed to protect civilians and high value assets from insurgents and terrorists.

Skyshield High Energy Laser: Uses a fiber laser beam to shoot down targets such as drones.[vi]

Strategic Implications

A key advantage of the Skyshield system rests on the use of AHEAD ammunition. Because these ABM rounds release a payload of sub-projectiles, effectively turning one round into several, a country using the Skyshield can intercept more targets while using less ammunition. Also, as its coupled with a radar system capable of detecting targets up to 20km away, Skyshield can immediately target any threat that comes close to the country’s borders.[vii] The Skyshield would be best used as a close-in weapon system (CIWS), or as one that protects very high value assets that are susceptible to proximal attacks.


March 2014: South Africa improves SHORAD system, deal includes Skyshield

February 2014: Indonesia wants to increase the amount of Skyshield systems it has[viii]

2009: Indonesia orders six Skyshield systems

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