Germany Delivers IRIS-T Air Defense System, HIMARS Launchers to Ukraine

One of Ukrainian IRIS-T systems was destroyed in January 2024 while Russia claimed it annihilated another one in May.
  • Defensemirror.com bureau
  • 12:29 PM, June 14, 2024
  • 727
Germany Delivers IRIS-T Air Defense System, HIMARS Launchers to Ukraine
IRIS-T air defense system @Bundeswehr

Germany has delivered a comprehensive military aid package, including IRIS-T air defense systems, HIMARS multiple rocket launchers, and Leopard-1 tanks.

The IRIS-T system is designed to neutralize fast-moving aircraft, helicopters, drones, and cruise missiles, within a range of 40 kilometers (25 miles).

The aid package includes 1 IRIS-T SLM air defense system, 1 IRIS-T SLS air defense system, 3 HIMARS multiple rocket launchers, 20 Marder Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs), 10 Leopard 1 A5 main battle tanks, ammunition for Leopard 1 and Marder IFV, 21,000 rounds of 155mm ammunition, 4 anti-drone sensors and jammers, 2 Beaver bridge-laying tanks, 2 Dachs armored engineer vehicles, 1 Bergepanzer 2 armored recovery vehicle, 4 Wisent 1 mine clearing tanks, material for explosive ordnance disposal, 3 AMPS self-protection systems for helicopters, 100 night vision goggles, IT equipment, 16 Zetros tankers, 100 MK 556 assault rifles, 85 HLR 338 precision rifles with 180,000 rounds ammunition, 100 CR 308 rifles, 4 million rounds of ammunition for firearms, and rescue boats.

Ukrainian IRIS-T Anti-Aircraft Systems

Ukraine already possessed seven IRIS-T systems, and Germany had committed to providing an additional eight systems in two separate packages announced in November 2023 and January 2024, with Latvia also pledging one system.

One of the IRIS-T systems was destroyed in January 2024 while Russia claimed it annihilated another one in May.

Diehl Defence, the manufacturer of IRIS-T, claimed a high success rate for the system in the ongoing conflict. "The IRIS-T SLM system convinces with its excellent performance in operational use in Ukraine. According to the customer, the system achieved a very high hit rate even during waves of attack with more than 12 targets," the company stated.

Speaking at a recent air show in Berlin, Diehl Defence's chief executive Helmut Rauch announced plans to double the production of IRIS-T air defense systems to meet the growing demand, starting next year. The firm also wants to produce at least 10 firing units annually for the medium-range missile beginning 2026. This is the second time in nine months that the company announced it was increasing its IRIS-T production in the face of increasing threats from Russia.

The IRIS-T SLM system, designed to counter threats from enemy aircraft, helicopters, cruise missiles, and drones within a range of up to 40 km and an altitude of up to 20 km, comprises a missile launcher, radar, tactical operations center, workshops, spare parts, and reloading vehicles. It is known for its high tactical mobility and efficient engagement of multiple targets with minimal personnel requirements.

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