Skyknight missile Boosts Skynex lethality

Pola Ayoub

In modern warfare a new magnitude of threats have been emerged to attack and destroy High Value Assets (HVA) either military or civilian for example (high precision ammunition, traditional ammunition, UAVs and cruise missiles etc.) these threats utilized the new technologies for better performance and effect in the battle field and economies of scales to be produced in a large number and as a result a new counter measure must be available to counter these threats. in EDEX 2021 Edge Group introduced its Sky knight system as a Counter Rockets Artillery and Mortars (C-RAM) System. Halcon is an entity of EDGE Emirati group teamed up with Rheinmetall to integrate its C-RAM missile Sky Knight on its air defense concept Skynex air defense missile system. this system was composed of

  1. Oerlikon Skymaster Command & Control Systems
  2. Oerlikon X-TAR3D® Tactical acquisition radar. AESA Multi Mode Radar with range up to 50 km.
  3. Electronic Warfare suit to counter cheap threats at low cost this suit is provided from Electronica Italy as per customer request.
  4. Four 35mm Oerlikon RG Mk3 revolving machine guns using AHEAD ammunition.
  5. Missile Launching Unit (MLU). Each MLU is a container consist of 60 missiles. Every battery consists of 4 containers

The first time for the Sky night to appear was in IDEX 2021 in Abu Dhabi.

The Skynex system was meant to integrate Cheetah missile which was a cooperation between Denel South Africa and Rheinmetall with a range of 6 Km but the project discontinued due to the need for a launching customer and instead Skynex boosted its lethality with Halcon Sky knight missile with a range of 10km which looks very similar to Cheetah missile but they are different.

In EDEX 2021 this system impressed a lot of military visitors, Scholars and civilians form many countries due to its great capabilities.

System Capabilities

The main characteristics of modern warfare is that

–  Mixing threats

– multiple magnitudes

– swarming

for example, the enemy may use traditional artillery and sucide drones with great numbers beyond the capacity of the defense system to make sure either total destruction or temporary out of service. Skynex system with the help of sky knight missile can perform very effectively. The system can use the 35mm Oerlikon RG Mk3 to counter artillery shells, cruise missiles, HARM missiles and mortars from a range of 4 : 1.5 km. for the targets beyond this range or a hard cased target Skynex use the Sky knight missile. the Oerlikon X-TAR3D radar guide the missile via missile up link and in the final phase sky knight use active radar to precisely locate the target. The system can fire 80 missiles simultaneously. If the threat can be jammed the system will utilize its electronic warfare suit to neutralize the threat. This system matured after understanding the lessons learned from previous conflicts mostly from below conflicts.

  1. Tomahawk Attack on Shayrat air base 2017 (swarming the air defense system beyond the capacity using terrain following flying profile)
  2. Attack on ARAMCO facilities in KSA and Abu Dhabi airport (need for point defense system for high value assets)
  3. Drone Attack on Khmeimim Russian air base in Syria using 13 drones armed with bomblets (Russian air defense units used Pantsir-S1 system to destroy 7 and neutralizing the other 6 with electronic jamming which proved successful).
  4. Last war on Gaza 2021 HAMAS fired thousands of rockets on Israel, Iron Dome proved successful but it had been depleted (what happened with Israel they fired very expensive missile toward very cheap threat without using guns as in parallel solution)

In high intensity conflict the enemy will use the most sophisticated threats (HARM, cruise missiles, small diameter bombs, Suicide Drones etc.)  to destroy High Value Assets so this system provides a great capability to neutralize above threats specifically in SEAD or DEAD operations where the enemy focus to deliver his weapons to open a gap in SAM umbrella Skynex with help of sky knight will prevent Air defense saturation and keep long & medium range SAM systems engaging the aerial targets.

Sources

  1. https://www.edrmagazine.eu/halcon-and-rheinmetall-air-defence-team-up-for-the-skynex
  2. https://www.rheinmetall-defence.com/en/rheinmetall_defence/systems_and_products/air_defence_systems/vernetzte_flugabwehr/index.php
  3. https://www.defenceweb.co.za/featured/development-of-cheetah-c-ram-missile-progressing/
  4. https://www.defenceweb.co.za/featured/development-of-cheetah-c-ram-missile-progressing/
  5. https://www.army-technology.com/projects/skyknight-c-ram-missile-system/

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