Rheinmetall Air Defence extends the use of AdaCore's safety-critical software development tools for advanced air defence system

  • Date: 19th July 2022
  • Company: AdaCore

BRISTOL, UK, July 19th, 2022 AdaCore, a trusted provider of software development and verification tools, today announced that Rheinmetall Air Defence, one of the world's foremost makers of advanced air defence systems, is extending its use of AdaCore tools and the Ada programming language. Rheinmetall's Air Defence product range includes cannons, radar and sensor trackers, fire control solutions, and naval systems.

Continuing an eight-year partnership, Rheinmetall is using Ada and AdaCore's tools to build and test the complex, safety-critical systems that control the steering and monitoring of its sophisticated air defence cannons. These systems bring together mechanical control of the gun with advanced electronics that model and move the cannon. The mission-critical embedded solution has to multitask in real-time and achieve Safety Integrity Levels (SILs) 2 and 3 to meet varying customer needs and to enable the physical testing of the cannon. 

The system has been developed in Ada thanks to the language's native ability to handle concurrency reliably and efficiently and to provide early detection of errors, all critical to the cannon's successful operation. Using Ada delivers the benefits of strong code performance, reduced manual effort in testing, a feature set designed for safety and security, and the stability to build and support long-lived software solutions that can be deployed across multiple generations of a platform.

A team of 12 programmers at Rheinmetall is now using AdaCore's GNAT Pro development environment to write and update software, which has been continuously developed over 20 years. The current gun software contains three-quarters of a million lines of code. To facilitate software verification, Rheinmetall is using AdaCore's CodePeer static analysis toolsuite to help detect errors and vulnerabilities and the GNAT Dynamic Analysis Suite to unit test source code. Alongside AdaCore's leading technology, Rheinmetall is also benefiting from the company's comprehensive support, delivered through both rapid responses from experts and on-site consulting services when required.

"To support our critical, complex project, we need a trusted, long-term partner that provides us with a combination of software tools and comprehensive support," said Robert Sonderer, Software Development, Air Defence and Radar Systems, Rheinmetall Air Defence. "Our team sees the benefits of working together with AdaCore every day, using its range of solutions to meet our changing mission-critical needs." 

AdaCore's technology was chosen due to its ability to work seamlessly with the Wind River VxWorks embedded operating system, which enables the internal cannon systems, and the fact that it is able to run in a portable, laptop-based environment. As physical testing takes place at Rheinmetall's remote proving ground, where there is no external connectivity, the company relies on the ability of AdaCore's tools to run efficiently on a laptop without requiring connections to a large server.

"Rheinmetall's project is the perfect example of the type of safety-critical, long-lived embedded system that Ada was created for," said Quentin Ochem, Lead of Product Management and Business Development at AdaCore. "We are pleased to have built a successful, long-term partnership with Rheinmetall, enabling them to deliver advanced air defence systems to customers around the world using our range of tools."

About Rheinmetall Air Defence

Rheinmetall is one of the world's foremost makers of advanced air defence systems. The company leads the global market in automatic cannon-based air defence, and is the sole system supplier able to offer fire control technology, automatic cannon, integrated guided missiles and Ahead airburst ammunition. Rheinmetall Air Defence is part of the Electronic Solutions division of Rheinmetall AG, an integrated technology group which is a market leader in the areas of environmentally friendly mobility and threat-appropriate security technology.

About AdaCore 

Founded in 1994, AdaCore supplies software development and verification tools for mission-critical, safety-critical, and security-critical systems. 

Over the years, customers have used AdaCore products to field and maintain a wide range of critical applications in domains such as defence systems, commercial and military avionics, automotive, railway, space, air traffic management/control, medical devices, and financial services. AdaCore has an extensive and growing worldwide customer base; see for further information.

AdaCore products are open source and come with expert online support provided by the developers themselves. The company has North American headquarters in New York and European headquarters in Paris.

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