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Enhancement of German air defense from MANTIS to IRIS-T SLM.

| 2023

The recent announcement of the German Air Force's transition from the MANTIS air defense system to the IRIS-T SLM marks a significant turning point in its defense capabilities. This announcement was made on the Luftwaffe's Twitter account on November 23, 2023.
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German Air Force's transition from the MANTIS air defense system to the IRIS-T SLM (Picture source: Twitter account of Team Luftwaffe)

Previously, the MANTIS systems had been sent to Slovakia, and will now be replaced by the IRIS-T SLM.

The medium-range IRIS-T SLM air defense system, designed in Germany, represents a major advancement in air defense capabilities. Using a missile 2.94 meters in length and weighing 87.4 kg, it can reach a speed of Mach 3 and has a maximum range of 40 km.

Its warhead is a high-explosive fragmentation type, and it uses an infrared guidance system. For detection and control, the system relies on radars such as the Saab Giraffe, the CEA Technologies CEAFAR multifunction radar, the Terma A/S radar, and the Oerlikon Skymaster combat control system, the multifunctional TRML-4D radar, and the Airbus Tactical Operation Centre. Ukraine is one of the users of this system.

The MANTIS system, used by Germany and Slovakia, is designed by Rheinmetall Air Defence and has been in production since 2011. The system, weighing 5800 kg with ammunition, is operated by a crew of four.

It uses AHEAD ammunition of 35 × 228 mm, with an elevation capability of -15° to +85° and a full 360° traverse. Its rate of fire is 1000 rounds per minute. This turret system of the German Air Force is essential for protecting bases against short-range aerial threats.

This transition from MANTIS to IRIS-T SLM signifies a significant step forward for German air defense, moving from basic defense capabilities to increased range and sophistication, offering more comprehensive protection against modern aerial threats.


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