Rheinmetall and the Austrian Armed Forces have successfully completed testing on the leased Counter-small Unmanned Aerial System (C-sUAS). This system was delivered in May of 2022 as a part of a realistic exercise. Rheinmetall’s C-sUAS system is currently being examined by the Austrian Armed Forces along with other systems as part of the Countering Emerging Air Threats (C-EAT) project. After the successful tests, the Austrian Armed Forces extended the lease contract for an extra seven months. 

Variety of system tests completed

Following the completion of training on the system, the operational capability of Rheinmetall C-sUAS is now being tested intensively under real conditions. A sophisticated test program has been developed to include both test and realistic attack flights from small drones. The goal is to detect and clearly verify the drones as early as possible using a variety of sensors. The use of radio frequency (RF) jamming equipment as a means to mitigate drones was demonstrated. The highlight was introducing the target queuing device by a tablet from the higher-level command and control system to the jammer operator. 

After testing many drones with various capabilities, the conclusion was that modern drone defense is only efficiently managed in a network. 

“A successful and intensive test week provided a multitude of important insights and experiences,” said Matthias Diem, Vice President of Counter Drones and Aviation Markets. “From our point of view, the exercise was an instructive example of how innovation-oriented armed forces, together with industry, can gain the necessary insights to develop and adapt tomorrow’s technologies for possible new threats from the air at an early stage. A big thank you goes to the Air Force and Anti-Aircraft Defense School in Langenlebarn for the great organization and execution of this forward-looking exercise.” 

Oerlikon Multi-Sensor Unit
Oerlikon Multi-Sensor Unit (Image credit: Rheinmetall)

Rheinmetall multi-sensor solution

The current system has two shelter units that enable rapid deployment on standard trucks and trailers. The sensor unit elevates automatically and can be equipped with detection technologies, such as X-band and S-band radar, ADS-B receiver, passive emitter locator, and for advanced verification and tracking purposes, a stabilized 360-degree electro-optical PTZ camera.

Based on the tested Oerlikon Skymaster command and control system, the separate C2 shelter is a full-operator workstation. Skymaster delivers a high level of sensor data fusion and multiple operational functions. The system is scalable to include integrating target cueing devices and effectors for different countermeasures (Rheinmetall).