Military Review

In Germany, created a ZSU to combat small drones

In Germany, created a ZSU to combat small drones

New German ZSU to combat small drones, render

In the modern world, unmanned aerial vehicles have become absolutely commonplace. At the same time, all recent military conflicts demonstrate that the importance of UAVs is gradually increasing. Even ordinary civilian quadcopters, which are widely available and differ in their low cost, are actively used and are quite effective means of reconnaissance. Loitering ammunition, which is actively developing in many countries of the world, including Russia, can be singled out separately. In these conditions, the emergence of specialized means of dealing with small drones was a matter of time. In Germany, for these purposes, they developed a full-fledged self-propelled anti-aircraft installation based on the Boxer armored personnel carrier.

ZSU to combat drones

Today we know that the Bundeswehr, at the end of 2019, signed a contract for the development and delivery of ten new self-propelled anti-aircraft guns to the troops to combat small unmanned aerial vehicles. The contract issued in December provides for the creation of new ZSU under the Qualifizierte Fliegerabwehr program. The new anti-aircraft self-propelled gun of the Bundeswehr will be based on the well-proven Boxer armored personnel carrier with an 8x8 wheel arrangement. It is assumed that tests of new ZSU should take place before the end of 2020, and the delivery of installations to the troops is planned to be completed by the end of 2021.

In the future, until 2023, all installations will become part of the German military contingent as part of the NATO High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF). The NATO High-Readiness Joint Task Force is an integral part of the Alliance Response Force and is a highly mobile force that can be deployed on site in a matter of days. It is assumed that the group will consist of five multinational brigades (numbering approximately 5 thousand people) with the support aviation and naval forces, as well as special operations forces. At the same time, the German contingent will play a very important role in this group, which is partly due to the desire to strengthen it with new air defense systems. In 2023, it will be Germany that will lead the Joint High-Readiness Task Force.

As part of the Qualifizierte Fliegerabwehr program in Germany, they created the simplest version of an anti-aircraft self-propelled installation, taking as a basis ready-made and well-proven components. Thus, a German-Dutch four-axle armored personnel carrier with an 8x8 wheel arrangement was chosen as the chassis for the ZSU. The vehicle turned out to be quite successful and is actively used in the armed forces of Germany and the Netherlands; Lithuania also acquired this armored vehicle in 2016. Australia and Great Britain also decided to re-equip with this combat vehicle. The 33-ton combat vehicle is distinguished by a very good level of protection, high mobility and mobility due to the installation of a 720 hp engine.

Combat module and radar on the new German SPAAG, rendering

The Boxer armored combat vehicle can carry various weapons systems, including heavy ones. Possible uses as a wheeled tank or a wheeled self-propelled artillery installation. In this regard, it is not unusual that the Bundeswehr decided to use this particular chassis to accommodate means of destruction of small unmanned aerial vehicles. On the other hand, this is not the cheapest option, given that the cost of one Boxer armored personnel carrier is about 4 million euros and can be changed based on the chosen modification.

For installation on the chassis of the Boxer armored personnel carrier, the well-proven remote-controlled combat module Protector manufactured by the Norwegian company Kongsberg was chosen. The module is complemented by a new radar for detection and targeting of the famous German company Hensoldt, whose main activity is precisely the creation of radars, as well as optoelectronic systems and avionics. On the new ZSU, the Germans placed the most modern of the Spexer's radars - Spexer 2000 3D Mk III (the third generation of these radars).

Combat module Protector plus radar Spexer

The heart of the new German anti-aircraft self-propelled gun will be the Protector combat module, which works in tandem with the stationary small-sized AFAR Spexer radar. Both products deserve special attention. It is known that Kongsberg will receive 10 million euros for the supply of 24 sets of Protector remotely controlled combat modules (as part of the Qualifizierte Fliegerabwehr ZSU program).

The Protector remotely controlled combat module, for the production of which Kongsberg Defense & Aerospace and the French Thales Group are responsible, is quite widespread today not only in Europe, but also overseas, as it is used in the US armed forces. The combat module allows you to easily deploy various weapons systems on it: machine guns of different calibers, automatic grenade launchers, ATGMs, automatic cannons of 20-50 mm caliber, etc. In this case, the module itself consists of a platform that is installed on a vehicle, a fire control system and controls. Additionally, the module can be equipped with smoke grenades. The mass of the module without ammunition and weapons is estimated at 135 kg, the installation height is 749 mm.

Remotely controlled combat module M151 Protector RWS with 40-mm automatic grenade launcher and machine gun

As part of the ZSU Qualifizierte Fliegerabwehr project in the Bundeswehr, they decided to equip their installation with a 40-mm automatic grenade launcher manufactured by the German company Heckler & Koch. This solution is quite common for the Protector combat module. In this case, the main ammunition for the automatic grenade launcher will be shots with controlled remote detonation. The use of such ammunition is a guarantee of effective destruction of UAVs. At the same time, the installation is initially sharpened to combat small unmanned aerial vehicles (sUAS), including civilian models, which are widely represented on the market today and are available to almost everyone.

The HK GMG grenade launcher itself was developed back in the mid-1990s and is considered a fairly successful model weapons in its class. Like all NATO grenade launchers, the model is designed to use 40x53 mm ammunition. The rate of fire of the HK GMG automatic grenade launcher reaches 350 rounds per minute, the aiming range is up to 1500 meters, the maximum range is 2200 meters. This is more than enough to combat all ultra-small drones.

For effective detection and tracking of small air targets, the Germans decided to use a small-sized fixed AFAR radar Spexer 2000 3D Mk III. It is a fixed X-band active phased array radar (operates in the 9,2-10 GHz frequency band) specifically designed to detect small air targets. The azimuth view of the fixed version is 120 degrees. At the same time, as noted by the manufacturer of the radar, if necessary, the system can be easily upgraded to provide full coverage of 360 degrees.

Stationary version of the Spexer 2000 2D radar

The radar is quite compact in size, its weight does not exceed 40 kg, while the dimensions of the antenna are also modest: 600x400x300 mm. The maximum detection range of air targets is 40 kilometers, while the capabilities of the radar make it possible to detect even ultra-small drones at a distance of up to 2,5 km, after which their defeat becomes only a matter of technology. The radar antenna emits from 1 to 16 beam signals with a variable frequency, which allows the operator to detect even small and fast-moving targets, including UAVs. A distinctive feature of the Spexer 2000 3D Mk III radar is the ability to simultaneously track more than 300 different targets. The Germans call another advantage of the Hensoldt radar an intuitive and simple "man-machine" interface, which resembles working with any modern gadgets. The operator sees on the screen all types of targets that have been detected and classified using the radar.

Hensoldt has high expectations for the Spexer range of radars. Their capabilities are not limited only to the detection of ground, sea or air targets. Over time, it is on the basis of this device that the company's engineers are going to build a promising set of active protection for armored vehicles. According to the company's roadmap, in five years Hensoldt expects to create radars that will confidently detect small targets flying at a speed of 1500 m / s. In the future, this will help to use the radar to combat armor-piercing projectiles, including modern sub-caliber ammunition, which pose a particular danger to armored military equipment.
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  1. Lontus
    Lontus 28 July 2020 05: 58
    From a subsonic drone on a UAV?
    Moreover, SIGNIFICANTLY subsonic - 240m / s.
    Something they do not say or the journalists misinterpreted.
    1. VicktorVR
      VicktorVR 28 July 2020 06: 26
      For a UAV the size of a table maximum. But rather from a chair.
      According to the Internet, a standard grant gives a guaranteed defeat within a 15m radius.
      And there are grenades with "arrows", respectively. when detonated, they give a directed sheaf of damaging elements
      It seems that an important element of the described ZSU is just a programmable detonation grenade and a detonation guidance / control system.
      It would be interesting to read a grenade.
      1. Lexus
        Lexus 28 July 2020 14: 24
        It would be interesting to read a grenade.

        I agree. Even with "bells and whistles" in it, the price will come out, in general, acceptable. Quite enough from copters and other "flies". For "swarming" larger and more jovial, a laser and KAZ are needed for self-defense. Rockets are expensive and not always effective. hi
      2. Michael HORNET
        Michael HORNET 28 July 2020 22: 00
        Do these grenades and a grenade launcher have remote detonation?
        He was only in hmm25, which never entered service.
        In 40 mm standard grenade launchers there is NO remote-programmable detonation of grenades.
        There is simply no such ammunition developed and appropriate grenade launcher for it
        How are they planning to do the bombing in the air?
        The XM25 grenade had a revolution counter and, when measured with a laser, the control system calculated the distance and programmed the number of revolutions for the projectile being fired before the fuse was triggered. And the grenade was obtained at the cost of a weighty projectile for a howitzer. No similar systems have been announced for 40 mm
        1. L-39NG
          L-39NG 28 July 2020 22: 18
          Find and read about Air burst grenades. These will be M397 and M397A1 grenades.
  2. sen
    sen 28 July 2020 06: 10
    Our "Derivation-Air Defense" will be more powerful, long-range, more accurate and more secretive (the optical-electronic system of the OES OP developed by OJSC "Peleng" instead of the radar).
    1. sav
      sav 28 July 2020 07: 02
      The first impression of this machine is designed to counter Chinese cheap or homemade UAVs. "Derivation-air defense" apparatus is more serious.
    2. Klingon
      Klingon 29 July 2020 00: 08
      Quote: sen
      Our "Derivation-Air Defense" will be more powerful, long-range, more accurate and more secretive (the optical-electronic system of the OES OP developed by OJSC "Peleng" instead of the radar).

      Our Derivation has no remote detonation shells. Because we cannot do them. They are just the whole trick. And the Germans have long even had 35mm air defense ammunition with remote detonation (Mantis system) ... by the way, I still don't understand why they needed a 40mm grenade launcher if they have 35mm rapid-fire cannons GDF-020
      1. riwas
        riwas 29 July 2020 04: 50
        Our Derivation has no remote detonation shells. Because we cannot do them.

        So "Derivation-Air Defense" was made just for a remotely detonated 57-mm projectile, otherwise it makes no sense. There are no such shells yet, but they are already at the exit. At the Army-2018 forum, General Director of the Burevestnik Central Research Institute Grigory Zakamennykh said that the missiles with controlled detonation for the newest Derivation-Air Defense self-propelled anti-aircraft artillery unit are undergoing preliminary tests. There are two types of 57 mm ammunition in development. The first is with a time-controlled detonation of the projectile at any point in the flight path, the second is a multifunctional one with a remote fuse, the detonation time can no longer be changed in flight, since it is set by a special programmer at the time of the shot.
        1. Klingon
          Klingon 29 July 2020 10: 31
          well, if so that's good, thanks for the information, I didn't know good
      2. Grazdanin
        Grazdanin 29 July 2020 09: 45
        Quote: Klingon
        by the way, I still do not understand why I needed a 40mm grenade launcher

        Maybe as an option, armament in this case is not so important. But the fact that the 35 mm gun would have looked better, I agree. More versatile.
        1. Klingon
          Klingon 29 July 2020 10: 34
          So I thought to put the Mantis turret on the platform of this module. The GDF-020 has a rate of fire of 1000 v / m and a range of up to 5000m.
  3. The leader of the Redskins
    The leader of the Redskins 28 July 2020 08: 08
    Finances allow - they can also afford such "toys" ... Let's wait until where it will be tested ...
  4. Hagen
    Hagen 28 July 2020 08: 34
    The rate of fire of the HK GMG automatic grenade launcher reaches 350 rounds per minute, the aiming range is up to 1500 meters, the maximum range is 2200 meters. This is more than enough to combat all ultra-small drones.

    If we bear in mind the Barmaley arsenal that we got as a trophy in Syria, then probably enough. But a fairly large range of reconnaissance UAVs in terms of working height far exceed the capabilities of the grenade launcher. And if we keep in mind that we are the likely enemy for them, the minimum that they will have in time is 40-50 mm Bushmasters or Bofors with remote detonation of a projectile. I think that everything will come to this ...
    1. Klingon
      Klingon 29 July 2020 00: 15
      they do not need beofors or bushmasters. The Germans have their own very good air defense system of a modular type - Mantis, consisting of sensors, a control center and 4 turrets of 35mm rapid-fire GDF-020 guns with AHEAD shells with remote detonation. The firing range is up to 5 km. It can shoot down both UAVs and various ammunition, such as mortar mines, artillery shells, etc.
  5. boriz
    boriz 28 July 2020 10: 46
    "At the same time, as noted by the manufacturer of the radar, if necessary, the system can be easily upgraded to provide full 360-degree coverage."
    In this form, it is hardly easy. Either the module or the radar will not have circular coverage.
    There is only one option: to remove the module in a turret covered by armor (albeit a thin one), and to put a radar station on the turret. But in this case, the module's versatility will suffer, and the height of the structure will grow, at least, to the height of the lower version of the radar. That will still be a halabuda. However. she can't stand at the forefront ...
    Although, it is possible to furnish the existing module with three radars of the upper version. Which is not very cheap.
  6. Lontus
    Lontus 28 July 2020 11: 59
    sighting range up to 1500 meters, maximum range 2200 meters. This is more than enough to combat all ultra-small drones.

    This is for ground targets, i.e. horizontally.
    For flying objects, the range will be radically shorter,
    and an object flying at an altitude of 1000 meters will be essentially inaccessible.
    If you add target maneuvering, then you will not be able to hit (even taking into account the fragmentation field of the grenade) at lower altitudes.
    It would be interesting to look at the source of the "news" - suddenly the meaning of this wunderwafele is different.
  7. Sahalinets
    Sahalinets 28 July 2020 12: 32
    Well, what will be the flight path of the grenade at such a low initial speed? And how will the system calculate the data for firing? Something seems to me that it will be possible to shoot down in this way only Chinese drones for five thousand rubles each, everything else will fly to itself like a mosquito in the dark. Have you tried to kill?
  8. Thunderbolt
    Thunderbolt 28 July 2020 14: 16
    Considering what was in service with the mechanized divisions, the switch from the ancient American to the newest trot makes such a motorized infantry battalion a combat unit.
  9. sevtrash
    sevtrash 28 July 2020 15: 45
    It would be nice to know the comparative cost. For example, with Thor and Shell. Well, and efficiency, of course. We can even now assume that according to the criterion of "cost-effectiveness" the German version of the ZSU for fighting small drones will be the best. The effectiveness of the Carapace is now questionable, Thor seems to be effective, but spending a rocket on a small drone will be inadequately expensive.
    1. Michael HORNET
      Michael HORNET 28 July 2020 21: 53
      Something absolutely some kind of deshman drones are implied ... the height of the grenade will not exceed 300 m, and at a speed of 240 m / s it is only to shoot at model airplanes, and even then ...
  10. rusboris
    rusboris 28 July 2020 23: 12
    The cost of this device is about 500 million rubles. per unit, no shells. From the device, for the stated purposes, there is a persistent feeling of a grandiose cut. Our carpenters are resting.
  11. Ua3qhp
    Ua3qhp 29 July 2020 15: 48
    "This is a fixed radar with an active phased array X-band (operates in the 9,2-10 GHz frequency band), specially designed to detect small air targets. The fixed version has an azimuth view of 120 degrees. At the same time, as noted by the manufacturer of the radar, the system can be easily upgraded to provide full 360-degree coverage if required. "
    Those. to detect the drone, you need to turn on the entire car by external target designation.
    And to provide a 360-degree view, 4 such fixed radars are needed, while its total mass will be at least 160 kg.
    By the way, what about the height reach?
    1. The eye of the crying
      The eye of the crying 27 September 2020 19: 20
      Quote: Ua3qhp
      The azimuth view of the fixed version is 120 degrees.

      Quote: Ua3qhp
      And to provide a 360-degree view, you need 4 such fixed radars

      3, not?
  12. KSVK
    KSVK 29 July 2020 22: 13
    Good weight. Precisely for the fight against small drones and especially "swarms" of these same drones. The grenade will fly along the "mortar" trajectory and will come to the target from above. When detonated, the fragments will create a spherical cloud, which is the very thing for hitting small and numerous targets. In contrast to a supersonic projectile, where the fragments will create a kind of cone expanding towards the air. Yes, no one is going to shoot with this wunderwafe at supersonic missiles at ranges of thousands of meters. This is not necessary. A small device CANNOT carry weapons of destruction at any range. Most likely a kamikaze drone with a couple of kilos of TNT on a suspension. To defeat, he will have to hit the target directly. Well, or scouts. They also have a limited range. And calculating the lead and creating the density of the grenades is not a problem for the fire control system. And yet, the cost of a shot from a cannon will be incomparably higher than from a grenade launcher. As well as the resource of the gun barrel is several times less than that of the grenade launcher. Nice car. Well done, Germans, made highly specialized equipment for a very effective solution to a SPECIFIC task.
  13. db1967
    db1967 1 August 2020 08: 19
    Can not understand anything...
    For some reason, 2.5 km interception distance is considered lol
    The authors are not at all aware of the optical capabilities of cheap home UAVs.