Skynex is the name of the air defense system produced by the German company Rheinmetall (the same as the Leopard 1 and 2) that will support the Ukrainian forces by the end of the year, although according to some the order has already arrived at its destination. Designed in Switzerland headquarters of the Oerlikon company now taken over by Rheinmetall, Skynex has the particularity of being produced in Italy, inside a Roman plant of the so-called "Tiburtina Valley".

"Rheinmetall will supply two Skynex systems to Ukraine by the end of 2023," company spokesman Oliver Hoffmann told Keystone-ATS on Sunday, confirming an article in the Sunday Sonntagszeitung. For the two Skynex we are talking about a value of 183 million francs, just under 182 million euros.

The systems were developed by Rheinmetall Air Defence, which is headquartered in Zurich. As is well known, Switzerland prohibits the export of war material to Kiev, but not the transfer of know-how to other countries, as specified in Article 7 of its ordinance on the subject.

Germany's Rheinmetall has production sites around the world and has long taken over Switzerland's Oerlikon, where Skynex's air defense guns were initially developed. Thanks to the decision to produce several parts of the Skynex in Italy, it was possible to circumvent the Swiss ban.

The sale from Italy of air defense systems developed in the Confederation is in fact legal according to Swiss law. According to the Sonntagszeitung, two applications to authorise the export of the same system had been rejected in the past.

The Roman plant where Skynex is produced is a leader in air defense and radar technology. The company, with about 300 employees, has more than fifty years of experience in the design, development and production of radars for surveillance and air tracking. Its production is concentrated in the field of short and very short range defense systems. The two Skynex systems for Ukraine should therefore aim to neutralize drones in particular. In this way, Kiev could afford to use more complex missile defense systems for larger rockets and air threats.

The idea of this supply, writes Repubblica, was born at the beginning of summer 2022. The Scholz government wanted to increase support for Ukraine, also to overcome criticism of the scarcity of German military aid, but there were no companies capable of producing anti-aircraft weapons quickly. From Rome, Prime Minister Draghi and the then Minister of Defense Lorenzo Guerini gave the green light and Berlin financed the contract.