Aerial Warfare

Slovenia Procures IRIS-T SLM within European Sky Shield Initative (ESSI) Framework


Slovenia Procures IRIS-T SLM within European Sky Shield Initative (ESSI) Framework

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Slovenia Procures IRIS-T SLM within European Sky Shield Initative (ESSI) Framework
Slovenia Procures IRIS-T SLM within European Sky Shield Initative (ESSI) Framework

Within the European Sky Shield Initative (ESSI), Diehl Defence signed a purchase contract on the procurement of the medium-range air defence system IRIS-T SLM with the German Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) on January 25. Annette Lehnigk-Emden, President of the BAAINBw, agreed with Helmut Rauch, CEO of Diehl Defence, on behalf of and with a power of attorney from the Republic of Slovenia on the procurement of the ground-based air defence system for the European NATO partner country. The purchase order includes one fire unit, consisting of the components radar, tactical operations center and four missile launchers as well as IRIS-T SL guided missiles and logistic support.

ESSI is a project aiming to establish and strengthen European integrated ground-based air defence, initiated by Germany in August 2022. Objectives of ESSI are to improve the interoperability of the nations with NATO and to create synergies through joint procurements. By now, 19 European states have declared their intention to join the project, including Austria and Switzerland in addition to 17 NATO countries. Further countries have expressed their interest. Following Germany, Estonia and Latvia, Slovenia is the fourth ESSI nation to sign a contract with Diehl Defence on IRIS-T SLM systems. Slovenia for the first time was able to make use of a standardized contract for ESSI procurements. It facilitates future synergy effects and enables a quick procurement process from which not only further ESSI customers, but also the industry will benefit.

German Air Force MAN SX45 8x8 10-ton IRIS-T SLM Launcher
German Air Force MAN SX45 8×8 10-ton IRIS-T SLM Launcher. (Photo by Diehl Defence)

In order to ensure a synchronized delivery of IRIS-T SLM to the ESSI nations, Diehl Defence distributed production slots to the interested nations in such a way that the system can also be delivered to Slovenia in due time. With this procurement Slovenia strengthens the air defence of its country and possesses capabilities in the medium-range for the first time. The procurement of further systems is envisaged. Within the Diehl Defence product range, IRIS-T SLM is designed for countering threats posed by enemy aircraft, helicopters, cruise missiles and drones at a range of up to 40 km and an altitude of up to 20 km. An IRIS-T SLM fire unit consists of the components missile launcher, radar and tactical operations center.

It is supplemented by support elements such as workshop, spare parts and reloading vehicles. The system is characterized by its high tactical mobility, deployability of the missile launchers and multiple target engagement with low personnel requirement. The air defence system IRIS-T SLM system convinces with its excellent performance in operational use in Ukraine. According to the customer, the system achieved a very high hit rate even during waves of attack with more than 12 targets. In addition, IRIS-T SLM represents the core of the new ‘Short and Very Short Range Air Defence System’ (NNbS) and is being completed with capabilities of short range within NNbS.

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