German government promises to send IRIS-T air defense system to Ukraine

Diehl Defence

The German government has promised to send Ukraine the modern IRIS-T SL air defense system, to help protect the country from air attacks. 

“This will mean Ukraine can defend an entire city against Russian air attacks,” chancellor Olaf Scholz told parliament on June 1, 2022.  In addition to the IRIS-T SL launcher, Germany will also provide a tracking radar that can help identify artillery.

The German government has come under fire for being slow to help Ukraine with heavy weaponry after Russia’s invasion.  

The development of the IRIS-T air defense system missile was led by Germany, with other NATO countries. Its radar-guided, ground-launched version called IRIS-T SL can target and shoot down air-to-air and surface-to-air missiles.  

The promises come as Germany is due to unveil details of a new €100 billion ($107 billion) euro military fund. According to a Reuters report, €40.9 billion ($43.9 billion) will go to the air force, including for new Eurofighter and F-35 jets, plus construction of a space-based early warning system.  

“The €100 million special fund for the armed forces is a big step, but it is also urgently needed,” defense minister Christine Lambrecht commented on May 29, 2022, after the coalition agreed the details. “Finally we can equip our troops as they deserve and require, in order to defend the nation and alliances.”   


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