20 November 2013 by defenceWeb
Diehl Defence has expanded the envelope of its IRIS-T SL (Surface Launched) surface-to-air guided missile with successful firings at the Overberg Test Range earlier this month.
The company said two firings were conducted on a test campaign between November 4 and 8 as part of the development programme for the new guided missile plus launcher, contracted by the German Federal Office of Equipment, Information Technology and Utilization of the Bundeswehr (BAAINBw).
Both missiles destroyed their targets with direct hits confirming the guided missile system´s expected precision, Diehl said. In one case the maximum distance lay far beyond 20 kilometres. The missiles were launched at EADS Do-DT 25 jet powered target drones.
Diehl test fired the IRIS-T SL for the first time on October 9, 2009, at Overberg. Further firings were conducted there in December 2012.
It is being developed for Germany as a stop-gap to the Medium Extended Air Defence System (Meads) being produced by Lockheed Martin and MBDA and is a ground-launched version of the infrared homing IRIS-T in service with the South African Air Force. It has a sharp nose cone to reduce drag that is separated prior to approaching a target.
Diehl Defence said the mobile, medium-range systems provide comprehensive 360 degree protection against air attacks by aircraft, helicopters, cruise missiles and guided weapons. They allow simultaneous engagement of several targets even at very short distances thanks to extremely short reaction times.