What are the capabilities of the IRIS-T air defense system that Germany will supply to Ukraine

The promise to supply Ukraine with a modern air defense system became a sensation during a speech by Chancellor Olaf Scholz in the Bundestag on Wednesday, June 1. According to the head of the German government, this will give Kyiv the opportunity to “protect an entire large city from Russian air strikes.” Previously, Germany supplied Ukraine with portable air defense systems, the promise to transfer a heavy modern system is a new level.

According to German media, we are talking about the IRIS-T SLM system. This is the development of the defense concern Diehl from the town of Uberlingen in the federal state of Baden-Württemberg. IRIS-T (Infra Red Imaging System) is a family of ground-based tactical medium-range anti-aircraft missile systems.

According to the developer, the SLM (Surface Launched Medium Range) modification is one of the most modern and was presented to the international public in 2014. Its components – a command post, a radar and a launcher for eight missiles – are located on the chassis of German MAN vehicles, which gives the complex high mobility and cross-country ability.

Successful tests in “realistic conditions”

Guided missiles can shoot down air targets – planes, helicopters and missiles – at a distance of up to 40 kilometers and at an altitude of up to 20 kilometers. According to the press, IRIS-T SLM uses the latest generation of radar and can hit different targets flying in different directions. In early 2022, the company reported that the IRIS-T SLM had successfully passed tests under “realistic conditions”. The complex was delivered to the Scandinavian countries and to Egypt.

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