The German Air Force (Luftwaffe) has begun operating a new weapon system named Mantis, a short-range counter-rocket, artillery and mortar (C-RAM) system.

The weapon system will be deployed with the 1st air defence squadron (Flugabwehrraketengeschwader 1) based in Husum, Germany.

German Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg earlier declared that the Luftwaffe would assume the responsibility for all air defence and anti-aircraft tasks.

As a result, the Luftwaffe assumed responsibility for close-range C-RAM protection from the German Army and the Mantis weapon system, including all relevant project elements, was handed over to the Luftwaffe.

The Luftwaffe plans to complete operational readiness of the Mantis weapon system as early as possible to guarantee the system’s deployment to Afghanistan in 2011.