German ambassador reveals 2 more IRIS-T air defense systems delivered to Ukraine

According to The Kyiv Independent on November 13, 2023, during a special event of NV "Ukraine's Formula for Success," the German Ambassador to Ukraine, Martin Jaeger, announced the planned delivery of two additional IRIS-T air defense systems before the end of 2023. The specific variant to be supplied in this latest delivery to Ukraine remains undisclosed.
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The IRIS-T air defense system, developed by the German company Diehl Defense, comprises two variants – the SLM, a medium-range variant, and the shorter-range SLS variant. (Picture source: Diehl Defense)

This announcement follows a previous statement on October 27, 2023, where the German government confirmed the delivery of one more IRIS-T SLM air defense system and an additional TRML-4D air surveillance radar. This latest delivery increased the total number of IRIS-T SLM systems and TRML-4D radars provided to Ukraine by Germany to three and four, respectively, since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022.

The IRIS-T (Infra Red Imaging System Tail/Thrust Vector-Controlled) air defense system, specifically the IRIS-T SL, developed by the German company Diehl Defense, comprises two variants – the SLM, a medium-range variant, and the shorter-range SLS variant.

The IRIS-T SLM is a medium-range air defense missile system that offers 360° protection against a range of threats, including aircraft, helicopters, cruise missiles, and guided weapons. The system typically includes launcher trucks, a multifunction radar for target detection and tracking, and a command post truck for command and control.

The missile launcher unit of the IRIS-T SLM is mounted on a MAN 8x8 truck chassis, featuring eight missile container launchers arranged in two banks of four missiles. This air defense system can engage various aerial threats, including aircraft, cruise missiles, and UAVs at a maximum firing range of up to 40 km. The system is capable of engaging multiple targets simultaneously at short to medium ranges with missiles based on the IRIS-T air-to-air guided missile. These missiles can be guided by onboard radar or the pilot's helmet visor and feature image-processing technology for precision and resistance to electronic countermeasures.

The IRIS-T SLS (Surface Launched Short Range) is a ground-based air defense system with a launcher that can be towed by a Swedish Bv410 amphibious all-terrain vehicle. It is designed to protect troops and critical assets from aerial threats, including aircraft, helicopters, and drones. The system uses the IRIS-T air-to-air missile, adapted for ground launch. With its advanced infrared seeker and high maneuverability, the IRIS-T missile can engage targets at short to medium ranges with high precision. Weighing 87.4 kg and measuring 2.94 m in length, the missile can reach speeds up to Mach 3 and has a range of up to 12 km.