RHM unveiled a smart WS – a hybrid of 30mm cannon, missiles, and laser

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DUSSELDORF, ($1=0.87 Euros) — The German concern Reinmetal [RHM] presented a modern and smart weapon system, an integrated combination of a 30mm automatic cannon, guided missiles, and a high-energy laser. Skyranger 30 HEL is a hybrid capable of identifying and destroying any air threat, said in a press release RHM.

Photo credit: Defense Update

Skyranger 30 HEL is a weapon turret that integrates with the armored infantry vehicle. A built-in sensor network monitors air threats. When the sensors identify the threat, the smart weapon system processes the collected information and decides which of the three options [automatic cannon, guided missiles, or laser] to counter.

Skyranger 30 HEL can be integrated both mechanically and systemically, by updating or adding new hardware or software capabilities. Skyranger 30 HEL is suitable for wheeled or tracked combat vehicles, as Rheinmetall gives as an example one of the most popular ones – Boxer and Lynx KF41.

How does Skyranger 30 HEL work?

The Skyranger 30 HEL laser system, or HEL effect for short, consists of three main parts – a laser source, a laser guidance system, and a laser weapon station. The laser weapon station has integrated sensors. With their help, HEL monitors the movement of the enemy aircraft and decides at what point it is most appropriate to fire a laser beam at it, burning its electronics.

Photo credit: Autoevolution

Rheinmetall has set in the characteristics a laser power of 100kW, although in tests so far they have managed to 20 kW. Laser powers up to 20-50 kW are planned for the first phase of implementation. The laser beam can be aimed at the target with high accuracy, thanks to the subcomponents in the laser system, whose interaction leads to high power and beam quality.

More on guided missiles and automatic cannon

The system of integrated cruise missile launchers provides greater flexibility to the combat vehicle, ensuring the downing of enemy aircraft at a greater distance. In this way, the operational capability of the mobile station is significantly increased.

Photo credit: Autoevolution

Rheinmetall says the 30mmx173 KCE is the world’s most effective weapon of its caliber. The cannon can fire up to 1,200 shots per minute. Interestingly, there is a delayed firing system through the use of programmable ammunition. They are capable of hitting significantly smaller air targets than normally expected.

Photo credit: Autoevolution


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