Oerlikon Skyshield MOOTW/C-RAM System
RAM stands for rockets, artillery and mortar. Widely available, they are often the weapons of choice for insurgent groups and terrorist organizations, capable of causing havoc and potentially causing devastating damage to a nation's vital strategic interests. In asymmetric warfare, a RAM-armed enemy nearly always employs hit-and-run tactics, making this kind of attack hard to counter. All too often, the enemy simply melts back into the civilian population.
The Oerlikon Skyshield MOOTW/C-RAM system is Rheinmetall Air Defence's answer to this challenge. The system is designed to defend high-value civilian or military assets from RAM attacks, whether in "military operations other than war" (MOOTW) or even in high-intensity combat scenarios.
Highly sophisticated yet extremely robust, this state-of-the-art system combines permanent airspace surveillance, automated detection and tracking of very small targets, prior warning of areas under threat and the interception and destruction of approaching RAM targets. Coupled with an Oerlikon Skymaster command and control system in MOOTW configuration, the Oerlikon Skyshield MOOTW/C-RAM system is entirely up to the task.
Each Skyshield MOOTW/C-RAM system initially consists of an Oerlikon Skymaster command and control system in MOOTW configuration (man-machine interface and high-power computer system) for carrying out control and surveillance operations, which are largely automated; however, manual intervention is possible at any time. Two data-fusion sensor units, each equipped with search radar, tracking radar and IR/TV trackers, ensure round-the-clock airspace surveillance. They identify incoming RAM projectiles or other threats, and control the fire unit of up to eight Oerlikon Revolver Gun C-RAM systems. Using two sensor units ensures complete coverage of the engagement zone. It also increases the system's ability to cope with saturation attacks as well as its overall readiness and reliability. The number of Oerlikon Revolver Gun C-RAM depends on the size of the area to be defended. Besides RAM projectiles, they are capable of bringing down unmanned aerial vehicles, cruise missiles, guided missiles, smart bombs as well as fixed wing and rotary aircraft.
Instantly and automatically, the Skyshield MOOTW/C-RAM system is thus able to neutralize a wide variety of threats. It calculates the incoming projectile's point of impact (POI) and warns personnel in the threatened zone. Advanced fire control technology results in optimum, precisely timed target assignment and interception. In addition, by determining the type of weapon used and its point of origin (POO), the system enables a counterattack. This quickly deployable air defence system can be airlifted for round-the-clock, round-the-globe protection of vital assets. Owing to the high level of automation, the system's personnel requirements are negligible.
The Skyshield MOOTW/C-RAM system depends on Ahead airburst technology. Each round of Ahead ammunition contains a lethal payload of heavy metal, spin-stabilized subprojectiles, unleashed in the path of an oncoming target at programmable, predefined point in time. A short burst of Ahead ammunition produces a dense cloud of lethal subprojectiles. These penetrate the outer skin of the target, causing catastrophic damage to its interior.
Ahead airburst technology can bring down targets at greater distances with fewer rounds fired, making it a much more cost-effective solution than conventional ammunition. The technology can be used in ammunition ranging in calibre from 30 mm to 76 mm. Rheinmetall is currently integrating payloads into Ahead rounds which are optimized for a variety of tactical roles in various calibres, with subprojectiles ranging in weight from 0.25 g to over 20 g. Ahead technology is suitable for ground, naval and air force applications.
As an added plus, Ahead rounds can also be fired in non-fused mode, in which they behave like very superior frangible rounds upon impact and are able to penetrate and destroy very hard targets. In effect, Ahead is actually two type of ammunition in one.
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