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Starting gun sounds for Germany’s advanced short- and very short-range air defence system – development contract awarded

Germany’s military procurement agency, the Federal Office for Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw), signed a development contract with the Short- and Very Short-Range Air Defence System Consortium (ARGE NNbS) for the “Air Defence System, Short- and Very Short-Range”, or LVS NNbS. Set up in 2021, ARGE NNbS has three member companies: Rheinmetall Electronics GmbH of Bremen, Diehl Defence GmbH & Co. KG of Überlingen, and Hensoldt Sensors GmbH of Taufkirchen. The contract is worth around €1.2 billion (including VAT), with Rheinmetall accounting for €607 million, Diehl for €339 million, and Hensoldt for €284 million, reflecting their respective workshares. 

Making sure that Germany lives up to its role as NATO’s lead nation in ground-based air defence and the Eturopean Sky Shield Initiative, the introduction of the LVS NNbS is a decisive step, closing one of the Bundeswehr’s significant capability gaps. 

The core objective of the LVS NNbS development project is to optimize medium-range air defence as well as developing high-mobility air defence capabilities for protecting manoeuvre forces from aerial threats – even when on the move.

Key objectives include achieving the necessary networking of individual components; integration of the medium-range IRIS T-SLM guided missile; assuring interoperability; and extending the intercept zone to include short-range threats.

Networking will enable connection to the IRIS T-SLM fire units currently under procurement as well as to the Skyranger 30 ground-based mobile air defence system, to be procured in future. 

The project is in the hands of the German defence industry; ARGE NNbS is the German government’s contract partner.

By bundling complementary core capabilities – including those of other German defence contractors – ARGE NNbS brings together the foundational knowledge, capabilities and expertise needed to meet the requirements. In the process, key technologies will stay in Germany, where they will be preserved and perfected.

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