Hungary plans to acquire anti-drone air defense systems to combat rise in drone warfare

Rheinmetall BOXER Skyranger 30 air defence system with Oerlikon 30 mm cannon on static display at ILA Berlin Air Show 2022. (wikimedia Commons)
By John Cody
3 Min Read

Hungary has announced plans to acquire the Skyranger air defense turret system, which is capable of destroying airborne targets and drones.

“We are developing it together with the Germans and the Danes; it will be ready in a year or two and we will put it into service,” Gábor Böröndi, chief of the Armed Forces Defense Staff said in an interview.

Böröndi confirmed a rumor that had been circulating among professional circles for at least six months that the Hungarian Army was actively involved in the development and production of the turrets made by Germany’s Rheinmetall.

The latter is hardly surprising since the turret is built by the same company that makes the Lynx IFV, which will also be produced in Hungary.

The Skyranger 30 was designed specifically to combat the increased usage of drone warfare. Unmanned aerial vehicles have taken armed conflict to a whole new dimension. One need only refer to the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict in 2020 (also known as the second Nagorno-Karabakh conflict), the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, and their increased use among terror organizations to see their benefit.

The Yemeni Houthi, Hezbollah, and Hamas are just as fond of these cheap and highly effective weapons as the Islamic State or Boko Haram. In light of this, effective defense against such aircraft has become a basic requirement for all armed forces, and the Hungarian Defence Forces are no exception.

The device in question is a short-range air defense system. Still under development, the equipment includes a 30 mm machine gun and two to four short-range anti-aircraft missiles. The former is capable of destroying flying targets at a range of up to 3 kilometers, while the latter is capable of destroying targets at a range of roughly 8 kilometers.

If company reports are accurate, this will be complemented by a laser weapon and an electronic jamming module. The latter is designed to detect the aircraft’s telecommunications radio channel and actively jam it to prevent the aircraft from taking control. The laser blinds and permanently damages the enemy UAV.

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