MANTIS Air Defence System

MANTIS Air Defence System[1] (Modular, Automatic and Network Capable Targeting and Interception System), formerly titled NBS-C-RAM (Nächstbereichschutzsystem Counter Rocket, Artillery, and Mortar), is a very short-range air defence protection system of the German Air Force, intended for base-protection. It is produced by Rheinmetall Air Defence, a subsidiary of Rheinmetall of Germany. It is a part of the air force's future SysFla air-defence project.

MANTIS Air defence system
Meppen - WTD91 (TdBW) 109 ies.jpg
A turret of the German Air Force
Service history
Used byGermany
Production history
ManufacturerRheinmetall Air Defence
Mass5800 kg with ammunition

ShellAHEAD 35×228mm
Caliber35 × 228 mm
Elevation−15° to +85°
TraverseFull 360°
Rate of fire1000 rounds/min


The NBS C-RAM system is supposed to detect, track and shoot down incoming projectiles before they can reach their target within very close range. The system itself is based on Oerlikon Contraves' Skyshield air defence gun system.

An NBS C-RAM 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 (51gr) each.

Originally, the German Army ordered a first batch of two systems in 2009, to be delivered in 2013, with two more systems planned to follow later, but were never bought. Both MANTIS systems have been transferred to the German Air Force, which is now responsible for all air defence tasks. The first two systems cost around €110.8 million, plus another €20 million for training and documentation purposes. In a follow-on contract, worth around €13.4 million, Rheinmetall will also deliver the corresponding ammunition to the Bundeswehr.[2]

The German Air Force took possession of the first MANTIS system on January 1, 2011.[3]

See alsoEdit

  • CIWS
  • LFK NG—the new air-defence missile of the German Army within the "SysFla" project
  • Phalanx CIWS—In 2004 the United States began to develop a land-based standalone model of its Phalanx Weapon System called the Centurion CRAM which was deployed to the Middle East in 2008
  • Rheinmetall Oerlikon Millennium Gun—Naval CIWS by Rheinmetall using same gun


  1. ^ "NBS MANTIS Air Defence Protection System". Army Technology. Retrieved 2018-10-20.
  2. ^ [1] Archived May 23, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ [2][dead link]