The German military plans to deploy in November its Modular, Automatic and Network capable Targeting and Interception System (MANTIS) counter-rocket, artillery and mortar defence (C-RAM) system to Mali in the “sense and warn” configuration, without 35 mm guns, to deal with the increasing threat of rockets and mortars.
Nächstbereichschutzsystem MANTIS was developed by Rheinmetall Air Defence specifically to meet the German Bundeswehr’s requirement issued in March 2007 for protecting its forward-operating bases at Masar-I-Sharif and Kunduz in Afghanistan which were being attacked by insurgents. Developed in 12 months it was successfully live fire tested in real-time operating conditions in Turkey in summer 2008. The first system was delivered to the Bundeswehr in January 2011. MANTIS is part of the German army’s future SysFla air-defence project.
Based on Rheinmetall’s Skyshield air defence gun system, MANTIS detects, tracks and neutralises incoming projectiles, such as rocket, artillery and mortar fire, within a close range of the target base.
It normally consists of six 35mm automatic guns, a ground control unit and two sensor units. As mentioned earlier, the system deployed in Mali will be without the guns. The entire system is fully automated and operates 24/7.
Earlier this year the Bundeswehr announced plans to erect a surveillance tower, deploy air defence radars, and acquire tethered aerostats for its Mali mission. The 30-metre high surveillance tower will accommodate such sensors as day/night cameras and will be used to protect the German base in Gao.