Germany Sends First Iris-T SLM Anti-air Missile To Ukraine

A Diehl IRIS-T Air-to-Air Missile and FCAAM Future Combat Air-to-Air Missile are displayed during the Farnborough International Airshow 2022 on July 19 in Farnborough, England. Germany is delivering the first of four IRIS-T defense systems to Ukraine after Monday morning's mass attacks. John Keeble/Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s string of missile strikes in at least 10 Ukrainian cities has prompted Western allies to rush to deliver additional aid in the form of modern defense systems.

On Monday, Germany announced it would provide the first of four new IRIS-T air defense systems to Ukraine within days. The land-based air defense systems, which use modified short-range missiles, has an operating range of up to 40 kilometers and target detection range of 250 kilometers.

“The renewed missile fire on Kyiv and the many other cities show how important it is to supply Ukraine with air defen[s]e systems quickly,” German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said in a statement. “Russia’s attacks with missiles and drones terrorize the civilian population in particular. That is why we are now providing support especially with air defen[s]e weapons.”

Germany is sending the first of the four newest IRIS-T air defense systems to Ukraine.

According to Ukrinform, Germany’s Ministry of Defense said this on its Twitter account.

“Germany delivers the first of four IRIS-T SLM air defense systems to Ukraine. The recent Russian missile attacks on Kyiv and other cities shows how important the air defense capability for Ukraine’s self-defense is,” the tweet reads.

IRIS-T SLM is a land-based air defense system developed by Diehl Defense with modified medium-range guided missiles. It can hit aircraft, helicopters, cruise missiles, jet artillery, drones, anti-radar missiles and bombs.

The escalation of events have ramped up pressure on Ukraine’s Western allies to deliver advanced military technology to aid Ukrainian forces, who recently made significant gains in the east and a sudden advance in the south.

“The best response to Russian missile terror is the supply of anti-aircraft and anti-missile systems to Ukraine – protect the sky over Ukraine!” Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov tweeted on Monday. “This will protect our cities and our people. This will protect the future of Europe.”

William Reno, the chair of the political science department at Northwestern University, told Global Defense Corp that Germany’s decision to speed up its delivery of the defense system is to help “fill a gap” as Kyiv waits for the delivery of a U.S. defense system that is expected to come in late November. In late September, the Pentagon said it would send to advanced antiaircraft systems to Ukraine within the next two months.

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