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IRIS-T

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IRIS-T
Mockup of the IRIS-T
TypeShort-range air-to-air missile
Place of originGermany, Italy, Sweden, Greece, Norway, Spain
Service history
In serviceDecember 2005
Used bySee operators
WarsRusso-Ukrainian War
Production history
ManufacturerDiehl Defence, Avio S.p.A., Litton Italia, Leonardo S.p.A., Saab AB, GPCC, Nammo[1]
Unit cost€140 million (complete IRIS-T SLM battery, FY 2022)[2]
€250,000[3] (~US$280,000) to €400,000[4][5] (~US$473080) for an AAM
€564,608[6] (~US$632,064) for an IRIS-T SL missile
No. built> 5,000 missiles (as of December 2023) [7]
Specifications
Mass87.4 kg (193 lb)
Length2.94 m (9.6 ft)[8]
DiameterAAM: 127 mm (5.0 in)
IRIS-T SL: 152 mm (6.0 in)
Wingspan447 mm (17.6 in)
WarheadHE/fragmentation
Warhead weight11.4 kg (25 lb)[9]
Detonation
mechanism
Impact and active radar proximity fuse

EngineSolid-fuel rocket
PropellantHTPB[10]
Operational
range
  • AAM: 25 km (16 mi)[8]
  • SLS: 12 km (7.5 mi)[11]
  • SLM: 40 km (25 mi)[12]
  • SLX: 80 km (50 mi)[13]
  • HYDEF: 100 km (62 mi)[14]
Flight ceiling
  • SLS: 8 km (5.0 mi)[11]
  • SLM: 20 km (12 mi)[12]
  • SLX: 30 km (19 mi)[13]
  • HYDEF: 50 km (31 mi)[14]
Flight altitudeSea level to 20,000 m (66,000 ft)
Maximum speed Mach 3
Guidance
system
Infrared homing
Combined radar and infrared guidance (IRIS-T SLX)[15]
Steering
system
4 exhaust vanes and 4 tail wings[1]
Launch
platform
Air-to-air:
EF-18, F-4 AUP, F-5 Super Tigris, F-16, Gripen, M-346, Tornado, Typhoon, KAI KF-21 Boramae
Ground-to-air:
IRIS-T SLS, IRIS-T SLM, IRIS-T SLX, NASAMS-3

The IRIS-T (infrared imaging system tail/thrust vector-controlled) is a medium range infrared homing missile available in air-to-air and surface-to-air variants. It also is called AIM-2000.[16][17]

The missile was developed in the late 1990s–early 2000s by a German-led program to produce a short to medium range infrared homing air-to-air missile to replace the AIM-9 Sidewinder in use by some NATO member countries at the time. A goal of the program was for any aircraft capable of firing the Sidewinder to also be capable of launching the IRIS-T.[18] The air-to-air variant was fielded in 2005.

Surface-to-air defence systems variants came later, with the short-range IRIS-T SLS fielded in 2015, and the medium-range IRIS-T SLM fielded in 2022. One IRIS-T SLM battery, as supplied by Germany to Ukraine, consists of three truck-mounted launchers, carrying eight missiles each (with a range of 40 kilometres or 25 miles), and a separate command vehicle that can be positioned up to 20 kilometres (12 mi) away. The command vehicle integrates multiple radar sources, and is able to launch and track all 24 missiles simultaneously. The IRIS-T SLM can counter surface-to-air missiles and cruise missiles, including low-flying, stealthy missiles such as the Kalibr.[19]

History[edit]

Background[edit]

The roots of the IRIS-T date back to 1968 when development began on the Hawker Siddeley SRAAM ("Taildog"). This project ended in 1974 with no production orders. In August 1980, the USA, the UK, Germany and France signed a MoU which aimed to develop two types of AAMs to replace the old ones. The USA developed Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) to replace AIM-7 Sparrow, while the Europe team developed Advanced Short-Range Air-to-Air Missile (ASRAAM) to replace AIM-9 Sidewinder. This work was dusted off for the UK–German effort,[20] with the Germans providing a new seeker, and the UK providing most of the remaining components.

In 1987, after years of silence on the program, the US proposed a requirement that the weapon must use Sidewinder rails rather than the universal aircraft rail adaptor named the "missile support unit" that had been developed. This delayed the project by one year as the British, German and Norwegian proposals were redesigned. Fearing erosion of its industrial base, the US proposed it would choose the latest version of its existing Sidewinder design with increased manoeuvrability and IRCCM unless the European partners increased the US industrial workshare,[21] designated AIM-9X.[22] However, the Sidewinder upgrade proposal failed to interest NATO buyers.

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.[23] Integrating with a helmet-mounted sight, it was found to be more capable in dogfight than the latest AIM-9 Sidewinder.[9][24] In 1990, Germany withdrew from the ASRAAM project, while the UK resolved to find another seeker and develop ASRAAM according to the original range requirement.[25] In 1992, the missile development programme ultimately separated with the UK the ASRAAM, France the MBDA MICA, US the AIM-9X and Germany electing to restart development on what became the IRIS-T.

Development[edit]

In 1995, Germany announced the start of the IRIS-T development, in collaboration with Greece, Italy, Norway, Sweden and Canada. In 1997, Germany had invested more than 500 million DM in this project and held a 46% share. In addition, Italy accounted for 20%, Sweden 18%, Greece 8%, Canada 4% and Norway 3%.[26] Canada later dropped out, while Spain joined as a procurement partner in 2003.[27] The German Air Force took first delivery of the missile in December 2005.[28]

The respective share of the development of the IRIS-T were:[1]

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

NAMMO Raufoss supplies the rocket engine with its TVC (thrust vector control) for both the IRIS-T air-to-air missile and the SL variants.[29][30]

Missile characteristics[edit]

In comparison to the AIM-9M Sidewinder, the IRIS-T has higher ECM resistance and flare suppression.[31] Improvements in target discrimination allow for five to eight times longer head-on firing range than the AIM-9L[32] and three to four times longer target acquiring range than the AIM-9M.[33] Its seeker can receive cues from radar, helmet mounted display, infrared search and track device, missile approach warner and data link.[34] It can engage targets behind the launching aircraft, made possible by extreme close-in agility, allowing turns of 60 g at a rate of 60°/s via thrust vectoring and LOAL capability.[8][35]

The IRIS-T belongs to 5th generation IR-guided missile which introduce infrared imaging seeker.[36] Compared to the other 5th generation IR-guided missiles, such as AIM-9X, ASRAAM which use staring array,[37] the IRIS-T uses an InSb[38] two-colour seeker based around a 128x2 linear array and a scanning mirror which builds an image from a row of detector elements and scans rapidly across the target. It would produce a 128x128 size image 80 times per second.[37][39] Each of the elements has a resolution in milliradians.[33] It was regarded to have good resistance against DIRCM.[40][41] Bodenseewerk Gerätetechnik GmbH (BGT) claimed that scanning arrays were less susceptible than staring arrays as the former receive the DIRCM energy for fractions of a second whereas the latter receive it continuously.[37]

The IRIS-T is able to intercept fast-moving and miniature targets, such as air-to-air/surface-to-air missiles and air-to-surface/surface-to-surface missiles and rockets, UAV/drones, and cruise missiles. To improve the probability of a direct hit, the missile is equipped with a Ku band[37] active radar proximity fuze.[41]

The IRIS-T has the unique ability, in comparison to other similar missiles such as the AIM-9X, to target and shoot down other air-to-air and surface-to-air missiles, thus offering a 360° defence capability.[8][34] Surface launched variants of the IRIS-T, the IRIS-T SLS and IRIS-T SLM, have enhanced capabilities to destroy aircraft, helicopters, cruise missiles, air-to-surface missiles, anti-ship missiles, anti-radar rockets and large-calibre rockets. They have a high probability of a killing shot against UAVs and other small manoeuvring threats at very-short and medium-range distances.[42]

The Royal Norwegian Air Force (RNoAF) has tested a new air-to-surface capability developed by Diehl BGT Defence for the IRIS-T. A proof of concept test firing to acquire, track, and engage a target representing a small fast attack boat was conducted in Norway in September 2016, where the IRIS-T missile was launched from an RNoAF F-16AM multirole aircraft. For the air-to-surface role, the missile retains the same standard IRIS-T AAM hardware configuration, including the HE warhead and IIR guidance package, with only an updated software insertion required to deliver the additional ground attack capability.[43] This basic air-to-ground capability provides the ability to acquire, track and engage individual ground targets like boats, ships, small buildings and vehicles.[44]

Variants[edit]

Operational[edit]

By June 2024, two variants were available: IRIS-T SLS (short range) with 12 km range and 8 km altitude and IRIS-T SLM (medium range) with 40 km range and 20 km maximum altitude.[12][13] A third variant, IRIS-T SLX (long range) variant with a dual-mode (IR and RF) seeker, a range of 80 km and a maximum altitude of 30 km, is in development as of June 2024.[45]

Due to increased demand due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Diehl Defence is increasing production of IRIS-T systems and missiles. It plans to produce three to four systems in 2024 and at least eight in 2025, with missile production planned to grow to around 400 to 500 per year starting in 2024.[46]

IRIS-T air-to-air missile[edit]

It is the initial variant of the IRIS-T missile.

IRIS-T SLS[edit]

A Bv 410 with Giraffe 1X radar and Diehl ML-98 IRIS-T SLS launcher on ILA 2018

IRIS-T SLS is the air defence system which uses the IRIS-T AAM with few software modifications.[41][47] However, its operational range reduces from 25 km to 12 km, and has the ceiling of 6 to 8 km.[11][48] In 2018, Diehl Defence demonstrated a Bv 410-based IRIS-T SLS system integrated with a Saab Giraffe 1X radar during the ILA.

In 2019, the Swedish Army fielded a ground launched version of the IRIS-T SLS, designated Luftvärnsrobotsystem 98 (lvrbs 98), to replace the RBS 70 missile system. Four missiles are carried on Eldenhet 98 (elde 98) launcher, a special version of a Bv 410 tracked, armored vehicle. Compared to the one demonstrated on the ILA 2018, there was no radar on the Swedish Eldenhet 98.[49][50] Instead, the Swedish Army used the Underrättelseenhet 23 radar truck as its radar unit.[47]

The Norwegian Army ordered the "mobile ground based air defence system", based on NASAMS command and control solutions, in a direct acquisition with Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace.[51] The system will integrate tracked IRIS-T SLS launchers from Diehl Defence GmbH with High Mobility Launchers for AIM-120 and AIM-9X missiles and radars from Weibel Scientific; initial delivery is planned for 2023 and will include six modified M113 vehicles carrying IRIS-T SLS missiles, while additional launchers will be based on the ACSV.[52]

In 2022, Diehl Defence showed a new air defense system called IRIS-T SLS Mk. III at the Eurosatory. It was a modified Mowag Eagle 6×6 armored vehicle integrated with IRIS-T SLS launcher, Hensoldt Spexer 2000 3D AESA, and a .50 machine gun in the remote controlled weapon station. Its STANAG 4569 protection was level 1, and it could be upgraded to level 3 by adding armor kit.[11] This vehicle had integrated the missile launcher, the radar, the sensors and the C2 command system, making it able to operate independently as an air defence system.[53]

IRIS-T SLM[edit]

IRIS-T SLM is the air defence system which uses the IRIS-T SL (surface-launched) missile.[41][54] As a part of the NATO MEADS program, the German Air Force and others are now using IRIS-T SL missile. It has a pointed nose, unlike the regular IRIS-T, with a jettisonable drag-reducing nose cone. The missile uses a GPS-aided inertial navigation system, with radar data link for command guidance during the initial approach. The interference-resistant IR seeker head is activated at the terminal stage.[55][56]

Compared to the IRIS-T, the diameter of the rocket motor was increased by 25 mm, to 152 mm. Test launches from a battery consisting of a CEA CEAFAR radar, a Diehl IRIS-T SL launcher and an Oerlikon Skymaster battle management system were performed in 2014.[54] The IRIS-T SL qualification tests were completed in January 2015 at the Denel Overberg Test Range in South Africa.[57] A further fire test on the developed system of the IRIS-T SLM was completed in January 2022.[58]

An IRIS-T SLM air defence system consists of a tactical operation center, a logistic support unit, several radar units,[19] and 3 or 4[59] missile trucks.[60] The IRIS-T SLM can be integrated with a variety of electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) guidance systems and AESA radars, such as Hensoldt TRML-4D, Thales Ground Master 200 MM/C, CEA CEAFAR, and Saab Giraffe 4A.[41] A version with a Lockheed-Martin Skykeeper command and control station,[61] Giraffe 4A radar and Diehl IRIS-T SLM launcher was shown at IDEX 2019 under the name Falcon Ground Based Air Defence.[62][63][64]

Egypt ordered Diehl IRIS-T SLM launchers, Hensoldt TRML-4D radars, and fire and control stations equipped with Airbus Defence Fortion IBMS[65] integrated battle management software, all mounted on MAN 8×8 military trucks; the deal was approved by the German government in December 2021.[66] Further orders includes Hensoldt TwInvis [de] passive radars,[67][68] IRIS-T SLS launchers and IRIS-T SLX long-range missiles.[13][69][70] Passive radars can detect enemy aircraft by analysing reflections from external radio and television signals, making them effective in urban areas where active radars struggle.[71]

The German Air Force is to receive its first IRIS-T SLM system in 2024 and five more by 2027. Also, mixed SLS/SLM systems are being planned.[72]

In development[edit]

IRIS-T AAM Block 2[edit]

In June 2024, Diehl Defence revealed that they were working on a new variant of IRIS-T AAM which will benefit from a new seeker, replacement electronics and a data link capability.[73]

IRIS-T FCAAM air-to-air missile[edit]

Diehl mentioned in 2022 that it was working on a 6th generation of short-range air-to-air missiles, and it is known as the "Future Combat Air-to-Air Missile". This missile is being designed to become one of the weapons of the European Future Combat Air System.[74] Some new features of IRIS-T FCAAM might include a stealthy non-cylindrical cross-section, multiple-spectrum IR sensor, advanced data processing, a two-way datalink, and a dual pulse/multi-pulse rocket motor.[75]

IRIS-T SLX[edit]

IRIS-T SLX is an upgraded variant of IRIS-T surface-to-air missile which has the operational range of 80 km and ceiling of 30 km.[13] It will also use a combined radar and infrared seeker.[15] On the ILA 2024, Diehl Defence displayed a missile model of the developing IRIS-T SLX, which looked quite different to both IRIS-T AAM and IRIS-T SL. This new missile can be integrated into the IRIS-T SLM launchers, which can be loaded with a mix of SL and SLX missiles as the result. Only 50 to 60 soldiers are needed for each system.[60] The Diehl Defence chief programme officer Harald Buschek said this variant was capable of countering standoff weapons, and it was likely to be ready for operation within around 4 years. It also would retain the ability to engage cruise missiles and helicopters.[73]

IRIS-T HYDEF[edit]

The Hypersonic Defence (HYDEF) is the first European program for defence against hypersonic threats. The consortium of this project consists of 13 companies from seven European nations. The HYDEF project is based on the successful contract signing in July 2022, dealing with the development of an overall endo-atmospheric interceptor concept for air defence. At that time, the HYDEF project prevailed over the competitor and could win the Europe-wide tender. Hensoldt and Airbus are also involved as national partners in the HYDEF project. On 31 October 2023, SMS (Spanish Missile Systems, a collaborative proposal of Escribano Mechanical & Engineering [es], GMV and SENER AEROSPACIAL from Spain) and Diehl Defence signed the contract with OCCAR, marking the official start of the project.[76] It has the operational range of 100 km and ceiling of 50 km.[14]

On the ILA 2024, Diehl Defence revealed that they were working on a two-stage missile to defend against hypersonic weapons. It will consist of a booster as a starting engine and a warhead called "Kill vehicle" for the direct hit. This should enable it to attack targets at a distance of up to 100 km and an altitude of 50 km with a high level of agility. It should refer to IRIS-T HYDEF.[60]

IRIS-T air-to-surface missile[edit]

For the air-to-surface role, the only difference from air-to-air version is an updated software insertion required to deliver the additional ground attack capability. Tested by the Royal Norwegian Air Force.[77]

Naval surface-to-air missile[edit]

Diehl mentioned that the IRIS-T SLM missile was being integrated to the Mk 41 vertical launching system.[78]

IDAS[edit]

The IDAS variant is a naval version of the missile, and is also being developed for the new Type 212A submarine of the German Navy. IDAS is supposed to engage air threats, small or medium surface vessels or near land targets.[79]

The latest stage of development qualification is planned for 2024.[80] In October 2022, the Germany Ministry of Defense revised the budget proposal and canceled the project to buy the IDAS.[81]

LFK NG[edit]

LFK NG was a surface-to-air variant that was developed by the Diehl BGT Defence and MBDA/LFK for the Germany air defence plan called SysFla (German: System Flugabwehr). Its weight is 28 kg, which is just one third of the original IRIS-T AAM. It would be equipped on the Army's Ozelot air defence system and Eurocopter Tiger. It has the operational range of 10 km.[82] In 2012, the German Army air defence units Heeresflugabwehrtruppe [de] was disbanded.[83] There's no further news about this variant afterward.

Operational usage[edit]

Ukraine war[edit]

IRIS-T system deployed in Ukraine

On 19 October 2022, Ukrainian sources stated that an IRIS-T air defence system had shot down a Russian missile in Chernihiv Oblast, thirty kilometers from Kyiv. Photos of the wreckage of an IRIS-T missile were shared on social media, and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said that IRIS-T "is a really effective system" and "has shown itself very well", but there was no evidence that the German IRIS-T SLM shot down that particular missile, and some Ukrainian sources stated that it had been shot down with a different system.[84]

On 24 October 2022, at the opening of the 5th Business Forum on the Reconstruction of Ukraine, the Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal noted that German IRIS-T system had the highest successful hit rate among others in the Armed Forces of Ukraine. It could destroy 9 out of 10 Russian missiles.[85]

Following another Russian missile attack against Ukraine on 31 October 2022, the Ukrainian Air Force stated that IRIS-T missiles had a 100% success rate countering the attack.[86]

On 15 November, footage appearing to show the IRIS-T system shooting down two cruise missiles circulated. One missile appeared to be a Kalibr cruise missile.[87][88]

During the 2023 Ukrainian counteroffensive, a TRML-4D multi-functional radar from the IRIS-T SLM air defense system was destroyed by a Russian Lancet drone.[89][90]

On 23 November 2023, the German Federal Ministry of Defence announced that an additional four IRIS-T SLM medium-range air defense systems will be supplied to Ukraine as part of a military aid package worth more than €1.3 billion (US$1.4 billion). The systems will be supplied from 2025. The package also includes drones and drone-defense systems, demining vehicles, satellite communications, electronic warfare equipment, directional anti-tank mines and artillery shells.[91]

On 29 December 2023, footage appearing to show the radar unit of a Ukrainian IRIS-T air defense system was reportedly struck and likely severely damaged by Russian-guided bombs.[92]

By June 2024, Helmut Rauch, the CEO of Diehl Defense announced that 240 kills were achieved by the IRIS-T SLM and SLS in Ukraine with an almost 100% success rate.[60][93]

Operators[edit]

Operators
  Current
  Future

The following operators are listed and defined as of June 2023.

Air-air missiles[edit]

Current operators[edit]

 Austria
25[94]
 Brazil
IRIS-T missiles for the new Saab JAS 39 Gripen E/F variants.[94][95][96]
 Germany
1,250 missiles in a first order.[94]
In 2023 a framework contract for up to 1,280 missiles was signed to replace those given as aid to Ukraine (120 ordered in a first batch).[97]
 Greece
350 IRIS-T missiles[94]
 Italy
444 IRIS-T missiles budget €217m, between 2003 and 2015.[98]
 Saudi Arabia
1,400 IRIS-T missiles[99]
150 additional ordered in January 2024 (ordered to replace the ones used to shoot down Houthi drones)[100]
 South Africa
25 IRIS-T missiles delivered as interim armament for Saab JAS 39 Gripen aircraft until the completion of the A-Darter SRAAM project.[101][102]
 Spain
700 IRIS-T missiles.[94] Original budget €247m, final cost €291m.[103]
 Sweden
450 IRIS-T missiles, designated Jaktrobotsystem 98 (jrbs 98).[94] IRIS-T SLS variant used in ground-based air defense systems.
 Thailand
220 IRIS-T missiles ordered.[104] To be integrated with F-5T, Gripen C/D, and F-16 eMLU.[105]

Former operators[edit]

 Norway
150 IRIS-T missiles.[104] Taken out of service along with the F-16 in 2022. Missiles donated to Ukraine in August 2023.[106]

Future operators[edit]

 Hungary
IRIS-T integration for Hungarian Saab JAS 39 Gripen MS20 Block II modernization program was ordered in December 2021.[107]
 Republic of Korea
IRIS-T integration for the KF-X fighter program was ordered in 2018.[108] With the first test firing taking place in April 2023.[109] On 17 May 2024, Diehl Defence declared that a KF-21 fighter had successfully fired an IRIS-T AAM to attack the target drone designated by the onboard AESA radar.[110]

Surface to air missiles[edit]

Current operators[edit]

 Egypt
Using the Airbus Fortion IBMS-FC, a Hensoldt TRML-4D radar installed on a MAN HX2.
  • 7 IRIS-T SLM ground-based air defense systems ordered in 2018.[111] with a further order of 400 SLM missiles
  • 10 IRIS-T SLX systems was approved in December 2021
  • 6 IRIS-T SLS systems[112][113]
 Sweden
IRIS-T SLS known as Luftvärnsrobotsystem 98 or lvrbs 98. It was ordered in 2013, first system used for trial was delivered in 2016.[114] The system is made of:
  • BvS 10 vehicle with a command post.
  • BvS 10 the trailer of the vehicle on which four IRIS-T SLS missiles are installed.
450 IRIS-T missiles, designated [94] IRIS-T SLS variant used in ground-based air defense systems.
 Ukraine
Germany provided military aid packages to Ukraine facing the Russian invasion.
  • 12 IRIS-T SLM systems,[115][116][117][118] among which, 4 delivered (1 in October 2022,[119] 1 in April 2023,[120] 1 in October 2023,[121] 1 in May 2024[122]), and additional IRIS-T SLM missiles are being supplied by Germany.
  • 12 IRIS-T SLS systems, with one delivered. One IRIS-T SLS system likely consists of two launchers.[123]
The IRIS-T batteries are all equipped with the fire control system Airbus Fortion IBMS-FC and the radar TRML-4D from Hensoldt. All those systems use the MAN HX2 platform.

Future operators[edit]

 Austria
8 IRIS-T batteries with 3 launchers each are to be purchased by Austria. It will include IRIS-T SLM and SLS batteries. The decision for this system was announced in September 2023.[124]
 Estonia
In May 2023, the Latvian and Estonian governments announced their decision to jointly procure the IRIS-T SLM systems, with deliveries expected in 2025.[125]
 Germany
 Latvia
IRIS-T SLM system contract signed in November 2023 for €600 million, delivery of components from 2026.[128]
 Netherlands
The Netherlands are coordinating with Norway for the same system they are using, the mobile GBAD.[129][130]
 Norway
Norway is developing its short range air defence, the MGBAD "mobile ground-based air defence system".[131] It is using elements of the NASAMS 3 system, and elements from the IRIS-T SLS system. The purchase includes:
  • 36 IRIS-T SLS missiles
  • 6 mobile launchers PMMC G5 equipped with 6 IRIS-T SLS canister launchers and a XENTA-M X-band radars designed by Weibel Scientific
  • 3 High Mobility Launcher (HML) HMMWV-based equipped with a roof rack with up to 4 AIM-120B AMRAAM or 6 AIM-120C missiles
  • a command and control system based on the NASAMS 3.
 Slovenia
2 IRIS-T SLM systems contract signed in December 2023 for €200 million.[132][133]

Potential future operators[edit]

 Romania
€3.85 billion for 41 launchers, to be purchased in 2 phases. It is in competition against the NASAMS from Kongsberg, the VL Mica from MBDA France, the SPYDER from Rafael and the KM-SAM from Hanwha.[134] It is to replace the S-75M3 and the MIM-23 Hawk (Phase IIIR) air defence systems.[135]
  Switzerland
Swiss Air Force – Tender for Bodluv MR Programme launched in April 2024. Armasuisse requested an offer to Diehl for a medium range air defence system (a variant of the IRIS-T SL). Diehl is in competition against MBDA (with potentially the CAMM, CAMM-ER or MICA-VL) and Kongsberg / Raytheon (with the NASAMS or MGBAD).[136][137] Programme information: tender launched 30 April 2024, offer to be provided by July 2024, decision expected in the third quarter 2024 and the financing and order is planned with the armament program 2025. Note: "ESSI participation doesn't preclude the system choice"
 Lithuania
On 21 May 2024, in the meeting with Germany Federal Ministry of Defence Boris Pistorius, the Ministry of National Defence Laurynas Kasčiūnas said that Lithuania was considering purchasing IRIS-T medium-range air defense system.[138]
ESSI members (European Sky Shield Initiative)
As part of he ESSI (European Sky Shield Initiative), a common European air defence system which will be made of mostly IRIS-T SL and the MIM-104 Patriot System. The ESSI initiative includes some countries that are already clients (Germany, Latvia, Estonia, Norway), or soon to be clients (Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Denmark)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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Sources[edit]

Further reading[edit]

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

External links[edit]