Germany Strengthens NATO’s eastern flank with MANTIS

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Germany Strengthens NATO’s eastern flank with MANTIS
German Air Force trains Slovakian soldiers about the MANTIS in Todendorf, intending to hand over two complete systems to Slovakia in 2023.

Germany is involved in strengthening the eastern flank of NATO by training its allies on the alliance’s eastern border. The German Air Force plans to deliver the Modular, Automatic and Network capable Targeting and Interception System and the air surveillance radar MANTIS to Slovakia. The system is also known by its previous name NBS-C-RAM (Nächstbereichschutzsystem Counter Rocket, Artillery, and Mortar). The training of Slovakian armed forces on the systems has begun in Schleswig-Holstein. The intention is to provide NATO partner Slovakia with two MANTIS weapon systems to air defence by the end of the year. The specialists from Todendorf's anti-aircraft missile group 61 will also train the operating personnel on the weapon system and the associated air surveillance radars. Slovakian enlisted soldiers, non-commissioned officers, and officers receive additional training, ranging from basic weapon system training to repairs and combat operations, so that they can operate the system independently in their home country. 

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German Air Force is training Slovakian soldiers, a further step towards strengthening NATO’s eastern flank. Since March 2022, the Air Force has been strengthening the alliance’s air defences by temporarily stationing an Air and Missile Defence Task Force in Slovakia consisting of the Patriot weapon system, which will return to Germany this year. MANTIS protects critical infrastructure, camps or barracks from the close-up and close range against threats from the air. The system is, therefore, suitable for protecting facilities and infrastructure from rocket and artillery fire and mortars. A MANTIS consists of an operating and fire control centre, two sensors and up to eight guns. The system has already proven itself in “sense and warn” mode over the past five years on the UN Multi-dimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) for the Stabilisation of Mali since its deployment in 2017. The airspace surveillance radar will monitor the airspace 7/24 at medium and low altitudes, locating and identifying aircraft. The radar data can be used to build a complete picture of the air situation and integrate it into the overall air defence network. MANTIS is made up of six 35 mm automatic guns capable of firing a thousand rounds per minute, a ground control unit and two sensor units. The guns fire programmable airburst rounds called Advanced Hit Efficiency and Destruction (AHEAD) ammunition.

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