A European country has placed an order with Rheinmetall for its advanced 35mm AHEAD ammunition, designed for the Skynex air defence system.

The deal, valued in the low three-digit million euro range, reflects the growing need for air defence solutions in an era of escalating aerial threats.

The contract involves supplying a six-digit number of cartridges specifically tailored to enhance the country’s close-range air defence capabilities. Unlike traditional guided missile systems, the cannon-based Skynex system equipped with Rheinmetall’s 35mm AHEAD ammunition offers an electronically immune alternative. This ammunition is designed to counter air threats, providing protection for ground forces.

The company’s 35mm AHEAD ammunition has programmable capabilities. Once fired, it is impervious to electronic countermeasures, a feature in modern warfare, where such tactics are increasingly common.

Rheinmetall’s Skynex system and associated ammunition are particularly suited for close-range defence scenarios, where guided weapons often fall short. The European customer is enhancing its defensive posture by investing in these technologies.

This acquisition shows the shifting priorities of military forces in Europe. In a move to bolster European defence capabilities, Rheinmetall secured a funding injection of more than €130m ($120m) under the EU Act of Support in Ammunition Production (ASAP). This funding, aimed at ramping up artillery production, reflects a collaborative effort between the private and public sectors to fortify Europe’s defence infrastructure. Concurrently, the Lithuanian Government and Rheinmetall signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the construction of a 155mm ammunition factory in Lithuania.

Concurrently, Rheinmetall finalised a deal with the Spanish government to provide over 100,000 mortar rounds. Sealed in the first quarter of 2024, this agreement includes provisions for potential extensions over the next two years.