Ukraine is not the only user of IRIS-T SLM medium-range air defense systems. Germany also supplies air defence systems to Egypt. Recently, a video of IRIS-T SLM testing in an African country has appeared.
The video shows the launch of two IRIS-T anti-aircraft missiles. Their targets were unmanned aerial vehicles. The air defense system destroyed two drones with two missiles, demonstrating 100 percent effectiveness.
IRIS-T SLM can shoot down not only drones. The system is designed to intercept airplanes, helicopters, and cruise missiles. The anti-aircraft missile has a launch range of 40 kilometers and a maximum altitude of 20 kilometers to intercept an air threat.
The launcher can have eight or four containers. In the case of the Egyptian version of the IRIS-T SLM, the system has four containers for anti-aircraft missiles, and one of them is different from the other three.
About IRIS-T Missile
The IRIS-T rocket is an air-to-air missile made through collaboration among European countries. It has a special infrared homing warhead that can track and hit targets. The project started in 1996 and involved countries like Germany, Greece, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Spain, and Canada (although Canada later left the project). The main manufacturer is a German military company called Diehl. They finished testing the air version of IRIS-T in 2002, and in 2003, Germany and other countries began buying these missiles for their air forces. The IRIS-T missiles can be used on different fighter jets like Eurofighter, F-16, EF-18, Tornado, and Saab Gripen. They are effective against aeroplanes, helicopters, and other missiles.
The missile consists of five modules: electronic equipment, a cooling system, a guidance system, a warhead, and an engine with controls and a detonator.
The cost of the IRIS-T air-launched missile is approximately 350,000 euros. An approximate analog – the American AIM-9X missile costs about 600,000 dollars.
Diehl, the manufacturing company, developed three different launch systems:
- IRIS-T SLS: a short-range air defense system with a range of up to 12 km.
- IRIS-T SLM: a medium-range air defense system with a range of up to 40 km.
- IRIS-T SLX: a long-range air defense complex that has been in development since 2021.
The SLS and SLM systems were introduced in 2014. Sweden was the first country to receive these installations in 2019, followed by Norway. Ukraine received the medium-range complex. Although formally adopted by Germany in 2017, the Bundeswehr has not yet received actual deliveries.
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