Layered Air Defense - the mix matters
The perception of threat has been changing for a few years in Western Europe. In addition to the risks by ballistic targets as well as mini and micro-drones, the conventional targets, rotary and fixed-wing aircrafts and cruise missiles are back into focus. In the broad range of threats, effectiveness can only be achieved by combining a mix of sensors and effectors.
Based on the guided missile IRIS-T SL, developed and qualified based on the specifications of the German Air Force, especially against cruise missiles and high-flying UAVs, Diehl Defense has successfully launched the air defense system IRIS-T SLM on the international market. With its medium range and high altitude cover, it forms an effective layer below the capabilities of the missile system PAC-3 MSE. Based on open interfaces, the first application of the system combines a modern multi-functional radar with a powerful and scalable command post. Radar and guidance system as well as communication system and carrier vehicles are manufactured in this case by the German partner companies and integrated by Diehl Defense into the overall system, whose delivery is scheduled to begin by 2020.
Sweden was the first European country to decide to use the IRIS-T air-to-air missile for a dual-role application of the missile as part of the IRIS-T SLS short-range air defense system. The first systems have been delivered to the users in the middle of the year. Flexible communication with the Swedish procurement agency FMV and continuous involvement of the user as part of working groups enabled customization and system optimization in the development phase itself. The contract will be fulfilled based on time and cost.
By adding a sensor and guidance system, IRIS-T SLS will combine all the components of an air defense system on a armored carrier vehicle, and will be able to protect mechanized forces during movement. The system offers long range and high enforcement capacity against the wide range of threats, particularly against armored combat helicopters and maneuvering targets.
The consistent use of open interfaces enables flexible integration of highly mobile IRIS-T SLS units into the IRIS-T SLM architecture. The result is a combination of sensors and effectors which can be guided by a common, scalable guidance system centrally, de-centrally or autonomously and can be operated with other systems. Other effectors such as the non-lethal weapon HPEM can be integrated.
The air defense systems IRIS-T SLM and IRIS-T SLS form a system-of-systems meeting the requirements of a "Layered Defense" against the modern range of threats.