Wednesday, March 13, 2013

First IRIS-T SLS Air Defense System Exported to Sweden

Sweden has become the first country to buy the surface-to-air (SAM) version of the Infra Red Imaging System Tail/Thrust Vector-Controlled (IRIS-T) within visual range air-to-air missile, the IRIS-T SLS.

The contract was signed by the Swedish Defence Material Administration with Diehl Defense for delivery starting in 2016. The IRIS-T missile in already in service in Sweden with the Gripen fighter aircraft. Ten other countries have also acquired the IRIS-T for their air forces.

The short range IRIS-T SLS complements the medium range IRIS-T SL / SLM, which has recently been successfully tested for the first time. Both surface launched missiles provide comprehensive air defense, including against aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles and missiles.

However, while the IRIS-T SLS retains the basic missile body and infrared seeker of the original IRIS-T missile, the IRIS-T SL / SLM features a radar seeker and a heavily modified missile body.

Another variant based on the IRIS-T is the Interactive Defense and Attack System for Submarines (IDAS) now in development. Four IDAS can be fitted inside a magazine and fired directly from a single torpedo tube.

The IDAS missile gives submerged submarines the ability for the first time to engage aerial targets such as anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopters, which previously were immune from submarine counter attacks. It can also be used to attack small surface vessels and other coastal targets.

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