Diehl Defence has been awarded a contract for delivery of the new infrared imaging system-tail/thrust vector controlled (IRIS-T) surface-launched, short-range (SLS) guided missile systems to Swedish Armed Forces.
The contract, which was awarded by the Swedish Defence Material Administration (FMV), covers production and supply of an undisclosed number of IRIS-T systems to the Swedish Army.
Comprising the IRIS-T missile and launching station, as well as fire control system, the newly delivered systems are scheduled to be operated by the army along with a new Saab-built command and control (C2) system and modernised sensors.
IRIS-T SLS is a ground-launched version of the IRIS-T air-to-air missile, designed to enhance Sweden’s air defence and object protection by providing 360° defence against a wide range of threats, including missiles, helicopters, aircraft, as well as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).
Using the same IRIS-T air-to-air missile, the mobile and all-terrain capable plug-and-fight system can be vertically fired from a launcher mounted onboard a Unimog 5000 vehicle.
Capable of adapting to country-specific transport and launcher vehicles with a variable frame system, the IRIS-T SLS also enables easy networking with current and future fire-control components due to its open and standardised architecture.
The system has already demonstrated its direct-hit capabilities against manoeuvring targets during the company’s test flights involving vertical firings scenarios.
Manufactured as part of a German-led multinational programme, the IRIS-T air-to-air missile is intended to replace the AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles currently in service with several Nato member countries.
The missile is installed on the Swedish Air Force’s Gripen fighter aircraft, Eurofighter Typhoon, F-16, F/A-18, as well as Tornado aircraft of participating nations, including Germany, Greece, Italy, Norway, and Spain.
Initial deliveries under the contract are scheduled to start in 2016.
Image: An IRIS-T air-to-air guided missile mounted under the wing of Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft. Photo: courtesy of Ashlyak.