The validation trials of the radar-guided IRIS-T SL SAM included:
- target cueing by external radar data
- target acquisition after launch
- target tracking by the missile
The IRIS-T origins can be traced back to an agreement made where the United States would develop a new Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) and its European allies, principally the United Kingdom and Germany, a new Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile (ASRAAM).
The original ASRAAM was criticized for its manoeuvrability, especially the lack of thrust vectoring, which led Germany to abandon the ASRAAM project and develop its own IRIS-T missile. The United States would also develop its own short-range air-to-air missile, citing delays with the ASRAAM.
The result was that instead of a single replacement missile for the AIM-9 Sidewinder missile, three short-range air-to-air missiles appeared:
- the ASRAAM from the United Kingdom
- the IRIS-T from Germany and partners
- the AIM-9X from the United States
The medium range IRIS-T SL will also be complemented by the shorter range IRIS-T SLS. Unlike the heavily modified IRIS-T SL, the surface launched IRIS-T SLS retains the basic missile body and imaging infrared seeker of the original air launched IRIS-T.
Weight: 87.4 kg
Length: 2936 mm
Diameter: 127 mm
Wingspan: 447 mm
Engine: Solid-fuel rocket
Max range: 25000 m
Speed: Mach 3
Guidance: Imaging Infrared seeker