IRIS-T

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
IRIS-T
IRIS-T air-to-air-missile.jpg
1:1 model of the IRIS-T
Type Short-range air-to-air missile
Place of origin German-led multinational armament program
Service history
In service December 2005
Used by See operators
Production history
Manufacturer Diehl BGT Defence
Unit cost €0.38m[1] (~US$270,000)[2]
Specifications
Weight 87.4 kg
Length 2936 mm
Diameter 127 mm
Warhead HE/Fragmentation
Detonation
mechanism
Impact and active radar proximity fuse

Engine Solid-fuel rocket
Wingspan 447 mm
Operational
range
~25 km[3]
Flight altitude Sea level to 20,000 m
Speed Mach 3
Guidance
system
Infrared
Launch
platform
Typhoon, Tornado, F-4, F-16, NASAMS, Gripen, F-18.

The IRIS-T (Infra Red Imaging System Tail/Thrust Vector-Controlled) is a German-led program to develop a short-range air-to-air missile to replace the venerable AIM-9 Sidewinder found in some of the NATO member countries. Any aircraft capable of carrying and firing Sidewinder is also capable of launching IRIS-T.

History[edit]

Movement of the seeker head
Subassemblies of the IRIS-T
German Air Force soldiers mount an IRIS-T to an Eurofighter

In the 1980s, NATO countries signed a Memorandum of Agreement that the United States would develop a medium-range air-to-air missile to replace the AIM-7 Sparrow, while Britain and Germany would develop a short-range air-to-air missile to replace the AIM-9 Sidewinder. The US design developed as the AIM-120 AMRAAM, while the UK-German design developed as the AIM-132 ASRAAM.[citation needed]

The roots of the ASRAAM dated back to 1968 when development began on the Hawker Siddeley SRAAM ('Taildog'), but this project ended in 1974 with no production orders. This work was dusted off for the UK/German effort, with the Germans providing a new seeker, and the British providing most of the remaining components. In the intervening time, the need for high maneuverability was downgraded in favor of greater range.[citation needed]

After German reunification in 1990, Germany found itself with large stockpiles of the Soviet Vympel R-73 missiles (NATO reporting name: AA-11 Archer) carried by the MiG-29 Fulcrum and concluded that the AA-11's capabilities had been noticeably underestimated.[4] In particular, it was found to be both far more maneuverable, and far more capable in terms of seeker acquisition and tracking than the latest AIM-9 Sidewinder.[5] In 1990 Germany withdrew from the ASRAAM project, while Britain resolved to find another seeker and develop ASRAAM according to the original requirements.[6]

In late 1990, the US partnership expressed similar concerns and embarked on an upgrade to the existing Sidewinder design to provide increased manoeuvrability and IRCCM (infrared counter counter measures) performance, i.e. measures to counter infrared countermeasures (IRCM). This program was designated AIM-9X.[7]

Missile characteristics[edit]

In comparison to the AIM-9L Sidewinder, the IRIS-T has higher ECM-resistance and flare suppression.[8] Improvements in target discrimination not only allows for 5 to 8 times longer head-on firing range than the AIM-9L, it can also engage targets behind the launching aircraft, the latter made possible by the extreme close-in agility allowing turns of 60 g at a rate of 60°/s.[9]

Development partners[edit]

In 1995, Germany announced the IRIS-T development program, in collaboration with Greece, Italy, Norway, Sweden and Canada. Canada later dropped out, while in 2003 Spain joined as a partner for procurement.[10] The German Air Force took first delivery of the missile on 5 December 2005.[11]

Workshare arrangements for IRIS-T development are:[12]

  • Germany 46%
  • Italy 19%
  • Sweden 18%
  • Greece 13%
  • 4% split between Canada and Norway.

Variants[edit]

IDAS[edit]

Main article: IDAS (missile)

The IDAS variant is a navalized version of the missile, is also being developed for the new Type 212 submarine of the German Navy. IDAS is supposed to engage air threats, small or medium surface vessels or near land targets.

IRIS-T SL[edit]

Within the MEADS program, the German Air Force plans to integrate a land-launched radar-guided version of the missile, called IRIS-T SL. It has a pointed nose, unlike the normal IRIS-T.[13]

SAM Version[edit]

The Swedish Army plans to develop a ground launched version of the IRIS-T to replace the RBS 70 missile system.[14]

The Norwegian Army is currently developing a self-propelled anti-aircraft system, combining IRIS-T missiles fired from existing NASAMS II-launchers mounted on a lengthened M113 chassis. Delivery is set for 2015.[15]

Operators[edit]

The following operators are listed and defined as of July 2008

 Germany
1,250[16]
 Spain
770 Original budget €247m, final cost €291m.[1]
 Greece
350[16]
 Austria
25[16]
 Sweden
400[16]
 Norway
150[17]
 Italy
444[citation needed] budget €217m, between 2003 and 2015.[18]
 Belgium
500[citation needed]
 Saudi Arabia
1400[19]
 South Africa
25 delivered. Interim armament for Saab JAS 39 Gripen aircraft until the completion of the A-Darter SRAAM project.[20][21]
 Thailand
Delivered, 220 to be ordered.[17]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ a b Ministerio de Defensa (September 2011). "Evaluación de los Programas Especiales de Armamento (PEAs)" (in Spanish). Madrid: Grupo Atenea. Retrieved 30 September 2012. 
  2. ^ "IRIS-T". Retrieved 11 June 2014. 
  3. ^ http://www.diehl.com/en/diehl-defence/press-media/subjects-in-the-focus/iris-t-the-short-distance-missile-of-the-latest-generation.html
  4. ^ Menon, KB. "Evolution of the Air-To-Air Missiles: Options for the IAF". Retrieved 11 June 2014. 
  5. ^ "Locking range". Retrieved 11 June 2014. 
  6. ^ Arms and the State: Patterns of Military Production and Trade. Cambridge University Press. August 25, 1995. 253. ISBN 0521558662. 
  7. ^ Tirpak, John. "The Evolution of the Force". Retrieved 11 June 2014. 
  8. ^ "IRIS-T Guided Missile Family, Germany". Retrieved 11 June 2014. 
  9. ^ "IRIS-T Air-to-Air Guided Missile, Germany". Retrieved 11 June 2014. 
  10. ^ "IRIS-T". Retrieved 13 June 2014. 
  11. ^ [1], 11 June 2014
  12. ^ [2] - typhoon.starstreak.net, 11 June 2014
  13. ^ "IRIS-T Guided Missile Family IRIS-T SL". Retrieved June 17, 2014. 
  14. ^ More Air Launched Missiles Go To Ground - Strategypage.com, 26 January 2013
  15. ^ Rune Thomas Ege. "Hæren "pusset opp" for 15 milliarder - Forsvaret - VG". Vg.no. Retrieved 2014-04-19. 
  16. ^ a b c d "South Africa Orders IRIS-T Missiles". Retrieved 2014-06-17. 
  17. ^ a b "Diehl Defence: IRIS-T, the short-distance missile of the latest generation". Diehl.com. Retrieved 2014-04-19. 
  18. ^ "Nota Aggiuntiva allo stato di previsione per la Difesa per l'anno 2012" (in Italian). Ministero delle Difesa. April 2012. Retrieved 2014-04-19. 
  19. ^ "Trade Registers". Armstrade.sipri.org. Retrieved 2014-04-19. 
  20. ^ http://portal.sipri.org/publications/pages/transfer/trade-register
  21. ^ http://www.defenceweb.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=15548:saaf-maintaining-iris-t&catid=35:Aerospace&Itemid=107

Bibliography[edit]

  • Bonds, Ray ed. The Modern US War Machine. New York, New York: Crown Publishers, 1989. ISBN 0-517-68802-6.

External links[edit]