The Rheinmetall Group has recently booked a number of important air defence contracts. Malaysia, Kuwait and one other Asian country have all ordered air defence hardware and/or services from the Düsseldorf, Germany-based company, with a total value of around €280 million. The orders encompass solutions for ground, air and naval units.
Rheinmetall will be equipping Malaysia with a total of twelve fire control radars (TMX/EO Mk2) and six electro-optical systems (TMEO Mk2) for six new patrol boats. This is a breakthrough order for a new generation of high-performance systems whose basic components were all developed in-house.
Together with spare parts and training, the order also includes a transfer of know-how to Malaysia, which will enable local industry to take an active part in the project. Delivery of the systems will commence in 2015 and continue through to 2020.
The Malaysian Navy’s new “Second Generation Patrol Vessels Littoral Combat Ships” (SGPV LCS), play a significant role in safeguarding regional sea lanes, where piracy poses a major threat to commercial shipping. Fire control technology from Rheinmetall will form a crucial element in the OPV’s shipboard technology, controlling the vessel’s primary and secondary armament. This important order underscores Rheinmetall’s increasing importance as a supplier of advanced technology to the world’s navies.
One other customer nation in Asia has selected the Oerlikon Skyshield to serve as a stationary air defence system for protecting its air force installations. The recently concluded framework contract encompasses six systems and the accompanying ammunitions and logistics, together with integrated MANPADS for surface-to-air missiles. The project is slated to run for three to four years, with the first delivered scheduled to take place in 2014.
Another major market breakthrough for Rheinmetall’s new generation of gun-based air defence systems, the country’s first-ever purchase of 35mm technology underscores the strategic significance of this order.
Kuwait, too, counts on Rheinmetall expertise for training and instructing its operating crews. Under the rubric of a wide-ranging Kuwaiti armed forces training project, Rheinmetall has been tasked with teaching the country’s air defence personnel to operate Rheinmetall-made air defence assets already in the Kuwaiti inventory.
For many years, Kuwait has deployed 35mm Skyguard systems from Rheinmetall Air Defence to protect critical infrastructure from aerial threats.
The contract, which runs for three years, is worth roughly €57 million (CHF 70 million) and also encompasses infrastructure, including the construction of training centres. It has great strategic significance for Rheinmetall, since advanced training based on Rheinmetall standards can be expected to result in the long-term use of Rheinmetall technology in Kuwait.
Rheinmetall is one of the world’s leading makers of advanced short-range air defence systems. In the field of cannon- and guided missile-supported air defence, the company is the market leader and sole single-source supplier of fire control technology, automatic cannon, integrated missile launchers and Ahead ammunition.
On behalf of the German Bundeswehr, Rheinmetall has recently developed the “Mantis” air defence system, which will be fielded shortly. The most advanced system of its kind anywhere, it reliably protects military installations and forward operating bases from rocket, artillery and mortar attacks.
Moreover, when it comes to safeguarding critical civilian infrastructure from the terrorist threat, the Group’s tried-and-tested 35mm Skyshield technology sets the unsurpassed standard worldwide.