Rheinmetall Unveil LUNA NG Uncrewed Aircraft System for Airspace Protection at ILA Berlin 2024

World Defense

Rheinmetall Unveil LUNA NG Uncrewed Aircraft System for Airspace Protection at ILA Berlin 2024

Rheinmetall introduces the LUNA NG, a versatile and advanced uncrewed aircraft system (UAS) designed for real-time surveillance and operational flexibility, at ILA Berlin 2024.

At ILA Berlin 2024, Rheinmetall is presenting a comprehensive range of airspace protection solutions, underscoring its dedication to safeguarding both military and civilian airspaces. A highlight of Rheinmetall’s exhibit is the LUNA NG, an advanced uncrewed aircraft system (UAS) engineered for real-time airborne surveillance, detection, and tracking.

The LUNA NG features a robust yet ultra-light fuselage made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP). This construction grants it an impressive flight time of over 12 hours and a data link range of more than 100 kilometers, expandable to approximately 500 kilometers with optional SatCom equipment. This extended range allows it to cover a spatial area exceeding 30,000 square kilometers.

One of the primary advantages of the LUNA NG is its operational flexibility. It can be launched from almost any location using a rope hoist catapult and lands autonomously via differential GPS in a net or by parachute. The system’s high level of automation ensures safe and reliable operations with minimal training for operators. The compact ground station, designed for rapid deployment, can fit into small vehicles or cabins and be easily transported by helicopter.

The LUNA NG supports a payload capacity of 30 kilograms distributed across two compartments, making it a multi-sensor platform capable of various missions. These range from reconnaissance and command capabilities to tactical applications involving active assets. Additionally, an optional vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) kit reduces its operational footprint, enabling flexible deployments on land and at sea.

Key Features of the LUNA NG:

  • Modular Payloads: The system can be equipped with various payloads, including electro-optical (EO), infrared (IR), acoustic sensors, spectrum analyzers, LTE network communications relays, and more.
  • Advanced Communication: Features LTE network and command post connections, tactical SatCom intelligence, IMEI tracking, and AI-supported data evaluation.
  • Versatile Operations: Includes sensor-to-shooter capabilities, electronic support measures (ESM) integration, and connectivity for various mission types.
  • Reliable Performance: Powered by a low-noise, two-stroke twin-cylinder fuel-injected engine, it can reach a service ceiling of up to 5,000 meters and perform in various weather conditions. The ability to glide without the engine and restart mid-flight enhances its reliability, even in radio shadow areas using a relay drone.

Rheinmetall’s LUNA NG stands out as a cost-efficient, modular system designed for rapid deployment and ease of use. It represents a significant advancement in airspace security, offering robust surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities. This system exemplifies Rheinmetall’s commitment to providing tailored protection solutions for diverse airspace security needs.

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