Germany Asks Sweden To Purchase Next Tranch Of IRIS-T Missiles For Ukraine

According to information published by the German newspaper “Spiegel” on February 2, 2023, the German government has requested the Swedish government to purchase the tracked version of the IRIS-T mobile air defense missile system for Ukraine.

Germany has already delivered to Ukraine one IRIS-T air defense missile system and three more air defense systems will be delivered in the next few weeks. The German version of the IRIS-T is based on truck military chassis while the Swedish version is based one the the Bv 410, the Swedish name of the BvS10, a tracked articulated amphibious all-terrain armored vehicle produced by BAE Systems Land Systems Hägglunds of Sweden.

The IRIS-T has been developed in four versions including the IRIS-T SL (Short range version), IRIS-T SLS (Short-range version with a range of 12 km), IRIS-T SLM (medium-range version), and the IRIS-T SLX, the long-range version with a range of up to 80 km and a maximum altitude of 30 km.

The Swedish army is equipped with the IRIS-T SLS mounted on the tracked chassis of the BvS10 all-terrain amphibious tracked vehicle. The launcher unit consists of two tracked vehicles coupled together by a special articulation mechanism. The front vehicle is used as a driver unit with 2.5 m2 of internal space while the rear vehicle carries the missile launcher station including four ready-to-fire missiles.

The IRIS-T SLS firing units from Diehl Defence were handed over by the Swedish procurement agency FMV to the Air Defence Regiment in Halmstad in August 2019. According to military open source information, currently, the Swedish armed forces have a total of eight IRIS-T SLS launcher units.

The IRIS-T SLS (Surface Launch System) is a ground-launched variant of the IRIS-T air-to-air missile that was designed for use against air and ground targets. The IRIS-T SLS is the short-range version in the IRIS-T surface-to-air missile family which has a maximum firing range of 10 km and an altitude of up to 5 km. It is designed to effectively engage aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), cruise missiles, and surface-to-air threats.

The IRIS-T SLS is equipped with an advanced seeker and a thrust vector control system, which allows it to engage targets at high angles of attack and provide high-precision guidance to the target.

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