On 25 January the German government, on behalf of the Republic of Slovenia, contracted with Diehl Defence for the supply of a single fire unit for the IRIS-T SLM short-range air defence systems, which has significant counter-UAS capabilities.
The order, which covers radar, tactical operations centre and four missile launchers as well as IRIS-T SL guided missiles and logistic support, falls under the European Sky Shield Initiative (ESSI), a programme initiated by Germany in 2022 with the aim of improving integrated European ground-based air defence. Germany, Estonia, Latvia and now Slovenia have all ordered IRIS-T SLM systems under the initiative, with 17 NATO nations plus Austria and Switzerland declaring their intention to join the project. The Slovenian order marks the first use of a standardised contract for ESSI procurement, which will benefit procuring nations and industry alike.
The IRIS-T SLM variant is designed for operations against airborne targets at ranges up to 40km and altitudes up to 20,000 metres. Feedback from operational use in Ukraine reveals very high hit rates, even against attacks consisting of 12 targets or more. The system lies at the heart of Germany’s new Short/Very Short-Range Air Defence System (NNbS). (See UA post on NNbS here).
For more information: Slovenia procures IRIS-T SLM within ESSI framework | Diehl Defence
(Image: Slovenia has become the fourth European nation to procure IRIS-T SLM under the ESSI programme. Credit: Diehl Defence)