The IRIS-T SLM, according to previous promises made by Germany, was supposed to be in Ukraine at the end of summer, but now another deadline is given.
The IRIS-T SLM anti-aircraft missile systems promised by Germany, as well as NASAMS, are not yet in Ukraine, and the first SAM is expected to be delivered in October, although before that the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany Annalena Baerbock reported that the transfer is expected by the end of summer or at beginning of September.
The new terms were announced by the German ambassador to Ukraine, Anka Feldhusen, in an interview with the “European Truth” publication.
“The first system, I hope, will be in October… I really hope that the second system will be by the end of this year, the rest – at the beginning of the next,” the diplomat said, adding that we are talking about four IRIS-Ts in total that will be delivered to Ukraine.
She also noted that there is no political delay in the issue of arms transfer. The fact is that these are new complexes and they are made from scratch. Moreover, with a high degree of probability, the SAMs ordered by Egypt will be transferred to Ukraine.
At the same time, the pace of production of the IRIS-T SLM actually coincides with the pace of transfer of NASAMS, which, according to the press secretary of the Pentagon, Pat Ryder (Pat Ryder), will be transferred in the amount of two units in the next two months. Thus, in the best case scenario, the Air Force of Ukraine can count on only four new air defense systems by the end of 2022.
Both IRIS-T SLM and NASAMS air defense systems belong to short-medium range air defense systems. The capabilities of the IRIS-T SLM are somewhat broader, it is capable of destroying air targets up to 40 km away, for which NASAMS must use AMRAAM-ER missiles rather than the basic AIM-120.
Another advantage of the IRIS-T SLM is the passive infrared homing head of the anti-aircraft missile, which allows you to use this complex quite effectively in ambush mode. In addition, the IRIS-T SLM has a vertical launch and it does not create a “dead zone” above the launch funnel.