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
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]
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