German Mantis Anti-Aircraft Guns Get New Barrels

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The Germany Army have procured new barrels for their fleet of Mantis anti-aircraft guns which are now undergoing testing.

“The new barrels lasted longer than expected in the tests. We shoot until they break and measure beforehand to check the properties and performance data,” Heiko Meißner, test manager at the Wehrtechnische Dienststelle für Waffen und Munitions, said.

Around 4,000 rounds and three barrels were used up at the end of the Mantis tests. The results are now reported to the Federal Office for Equipment, Information Technology and Use of the Bundeswehr in Koblenz, which is responsible for procurement.

“Our gun here has already fired a total of 22,000 rounds and now deserves a break,” added Meißner.

Built by Rheinmetall, Mantis (modular, automatic and network capable targeting and interception system) was intended for base-protection, particularly in Afghanistan. It is supposed to detect, track and shoot down incoming projectiles before they can reach their target within very close range. The Mantis was derived from Skyshield air defense gun system.

The system consists of six 35mm automatic guns (capable of firing 1,000 rounds per minute), a ground control unit and two sensor units. The entire system is fully automated. The guns fire programmable AHEAD ammunition, developed by Rheinmetall Weapons and Munitions – Switzerland (formerly Oerlikon Contraves Pyrotec). The ammunition carries a payload of 152 tungsten projectiles weighing 3.3g each.