Düsseldorf-based Rheinmetall Group member, Rheinmetall Air Defence AG of Zürich, has been awarded a significant modernisation order from the Swiss armed forces.
Through to 2019, Rheinmetall will upgrade the fire control units and guns of the 35mm, medium-calibre Oerlikon Skyguard air defence system, which has been in service with the Swiss air force for many years.
The contract also includes an overhaul of the associated command and control systems in the operations centre, as well as additional spare parts. By boosting the system’s operational effectiveness, these measures will extend its service life until at least 2025.
The contract between armasuisse (the Swiss federal procurement agency) and Rheinmetall Air Defence AG was signed a short time ago.
In its capacity as general contractor, Rheinmetall Air Defence AG is responsible for the work to extend the system’s service life. At the request of the customer, Rheinmetall Air Defence has assigned a number of tasks to RUAG Aviation, an important Swiss partner in the project.
The Swiss air force’s ground-based, short-range air defence systems include the lightweight Stinger guided missile, the mobile Rapier surface-to-air missile and the 35mm medium-calibre Oerlikon Skyguard. These systems are used for defending assets and infrastructure from aerial attack.
All three would have reached the end of their service life during the next few years. In order to avoid a capabilities gap prior to introduction of a successor system for short-range air defence of ground assets, the 35mm medium-calibre air defence system will undergo a major service life extension programme.
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