Espreso. Global

Germany buys only 200 IRIS-T SLS missiles from Sweden for Ukraine

2 September, 2023 Saturday
15:14

This alarming figure demonstrates how limited the supply of these missiles to important air defense systems may be

Defense Express reports.

Germany has purchased 200 missiles from Sweden for the IRIS-T SLS short-range air defense systems, the delivery of which has already begun for Ukraine.

According to the Janes agency’s publication, the missiles bought from the Sweden are currently being repaired at the facilities of the German company Diehl Defense, and only then will they be delivered to Ukraine, allegedly to replace the already fired anti-aircraft missiles for the IRIS-T SLS complexes. 

Defense Express adds that the aforementioned 200 anti-aircraft missiles were the maximum that Germany could buy from Sweden, because the Swedes might not have had more missiles of this type in their warehouses. Sweden, in turn, is involved in this story because short-range IRIS-T SLS systems have so far been in service only with the Swedish army, and even the Bundeswehr does not have such weapons.

But 200 missiles in this situation is actually a small number, as for example, the Russian invading forces used a total of 750 long-range missiles and Shahed-131/136 ‘kamikaze’ drones during the campaign of attacks on Ukraine’s energy system . Or there may be another comparison, which Janes cites in the same publication: in just one night of combat operation, the IRIS-T SLM systems transferred to Ukraine from Germany shot down 13 anti-aircraft missiles at once.

Amid this, the fact that Norway also plans to transfer to Ukraine a certain number of IRIS-T missiles, which were previously used with the F-16 and will now also be adapted for use with the IRIS-T SLS, may be a certain relief.

The main feature of this German short-range system, which is to strengthen Ukraine's air defense in the near future, is that the basis for this SAM is the BvS 10 amphibious system from BAE Systems, with four missile launchers, a range of up to 10 km, and a target engagement height of up to 6 km. The Giraffe radar of this complex has a range and height of target detection of up to 25 km and 10 km, respectively.

According to The Military Balance 2023, only Sweden had short-range IRIS-T SLS systems (eight units, locally designated RBS98). In total, Germany plans to supply 22 systems of this type to Ukraine.

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