German firms Diehl Defence and Hensoldt have agreed to strengthen their collaboration in the field of ground-based air defence.

The expanded partnership seeks to enhance existing offerings that can combat emerging threats.

Diehl Defence CEO Helmut Rauch said: “I am pleased to be able to further optimise our existing air defence systems through more intensive collaboration with Hensoldt, to provide solutions for new threat situations.”

The two companies have been working together on ground-based air defence systems. Under the collaboration, Diehl Defence integrated active and passive radars, from Hensoldt, in its medium-range system (IRIS-T SLM).

The IRIS-T SLM can be enhanced by adding certain elements of the short-range version of the IRIS-T SLS. Diehl Defence has presented a further developed variant for this purpose.

According to the companies, their product portfolio can meet German air defence requirements.

The IRIS-T SLM offers protection against potential aerial threats by engaging enemy aircraft, helicopters, missiles, and drones.

Diehl Defence and Hensoldt aim to strengthen their cooperation in light of the current situation in Germany.

Germany requires a ground-based system that is equipped with 40km-range interceptor missiles. The system must also be capable of defending cruise missile attacks, and offer full interoperability with the existing Nato-integrated air defence architecture.

The existing IRIS-T SLM system is currently undergoing a performance upgrade. The upgraded version will have a greater range, of up to 80 km, and altitude coverage, of up to 30 km, against aerial threats.

Diehl Defence and Hensoldt said that they can deliver the solutions to German customers from the third quarter of this year, provided a contract is placed soon.