Sidewinder is an air-to-air guided missile developed by the U.S. Navy for fighter aircraft. Since the 1960s, the missile has been produced and refined under license by Diehl Defence as European prime contractor in several versions. Today, its subsidiary Diehl Retrofit Missile Systeme provides worldwide maintenance and modernization of AIM 9L missiles.
With its Laser-Guided Sidewinder (LaGS) program, Diehl Defence developed a technical solution retrofitting the air-to-air guided missile into an air-to-ground precision weapon thus allowing legacy missiles in the air forces`inventories to be used for new operational tasks. The modification only requires replacement of the original missile's infrared seeker with a Semi-Active Laser (SAL) seeker. The new mission spectrum comprises both stationary and moving single targets on the ground.
The IRIS-T guided missile was developed as aircraft armament for air-to-air missions within a European cooperation program.
The combination of thrust vector and aerodynamic control provides the missile with extremely high agility. An additional technological leap was achieved with the imaging IR seeker head in conjunction with intelligent image processing. Target designation is accomplished by airborne radar or via the pilot's helmet sight. IRIS-T´s outstanding features even permit engaging targets behind the aircraft as well as interception of opponents`missiles.
In addition to the consortium partners Germany (pilot nation), Greece, Italy, Norway, Sweden and Spain, further countries worldwide decided to procure IRIS-T. It was selected as standard weapon for the Eurofighter, F-16, EF-18, Tornado and Gripen fighter aircraft.
Besides its role as aircraft armament, IRIS-T is currently also employed as a surface-launched guided missile, e.g. in the ground-based air defence system IRIS-T SLS for object and short-range protection. Moreover, the Norwegian Air Force for the first time demonstrated IRIS-T`s capability of also engaging sea targets in a test firing in 2016.
Diehl Defence is prime contractor in the IRIS-T program, producing the missile since 2005 in cooperation with industrial partners from six European program nations.
The new surface-to-air guided missile IRIS-T SL (Surface Launched) is an upgraded version of the IRIS-T air-to-air guided missile. Contracted by the Bundeswehr, it was developed for Tactical Air Defence and was qualified for in-service use in 2017.
Compared with the basic version, IRIS-T SL features an enhanced rocket motor for extended range. The newly introduced data link, in connection with a GPS-based inertial navigation system, allows controlling the missile from a combat center. During terminal approach the missile guides itself directly to the target.
The IRIS-T SL missile is launched from a multi-function container (for storage, transport and firing) providing 360° protection against aircraft, helicopters, drones and other missiles. It can easily be integrated into various existing and future air defence systems through connection to fire control systems via standardized and software-based interfaces.
In cooperation with the ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems shipyard and other industrial partners, Diehl Defence is developing a multi-role capable guided missile providing self-defence capabilities for submerged submarines under the project name IDAS (Interactive Defence & Attack System for Submarines). It is designed to counter threats from the air, naval vessels as well as coastal targets. It can be launched from a torpedo tube engaging targets autonomously by means of an autopilot and infrared seeker. Simultaneously, a fiber-optic link allows data exchange between the missile and the submarine enabling the submarine crew to intervene at any time.
In cooperation with its Swedish partner Saab Dynamics, Diehl Defence delivers the anti-ship missile RBS15 Mk3 as the primary armament for the German Navy's new corvettes of the "Braunschweig" class (K130). The long-range, all-weather capable, fire-and-forget missile is highly maneuverable and extremely resistant to electronic countermeasures. Its special advantage: it is able to engage both sea and land targets.
The Mk3 version, jointly developed by Diehl and Saab, is based on the proven predecessor RBS15 Mk2 in service with the Swedish Navy and other naval forces.
In early 2017, the two industrial partners decided to continue development of the missile family. In addition to the ship-based version, the new generation is to be made available for fighter aircraft as well.
Naval Missile RAM (Rolling Airframe Missile)
RAM is a shipboard defence system against approaching anti-ship missiles, aircraft, helicopters and vessels. The weapon system stands out due to its high firepower and short reaction times. The missile autonomously guides itself into the target by means of its dual-mode (radar and infrared) seeker.
Developed in transatlantic cooperation by Germany and the U.S., RAM is manufactured and marketed by the industrial partners RAM-System GmbH – a joint venture of Diehl and MBDA Deutschland – and Raytheon Missile Systems.
At present, the fourth missile generation (RAM Block 2) is being delivered. Due to its enhanced rocket motor and upgraded actuator system, the latest RAM version provides considerably higher agility enabling it to even counter hypervelocity missiles reliably. The performance enhancements provide outstanding protection for fast patrol boats as well as aircraft carriers of ten user nations against current and future threats.
PARS 3 LR
The anti-tank missile PARS 3 LR is being procured as primary armament of the Bundeswehr's TIGER combat helicopter, specifically designed for engagement of ground targets. Diehl Defence developed a high-performance IR seeker for precise and reliable target tracking. Complex image processing algorithms provide high strike probability even in difficult scenarios. The missile is marketed by PARSYS GmbH, a joint venture of Diehl Defence and MBDA Deutschland.
The Spike LR (long range) guided missile is part of the identically named guided weapon family of the Israeli manufacturer Rafael. Spike LR is capable of engaging both ground targets, such as tanks, hardened command posts or targets behind cover, as well as helicopters. The LR version is equipped with a fiber-optic data link for transmitting image data to the operator allowing correction of the flight trajectory or mission abort. Diehl Defence produces the missile within the Bundeswehr´s procurement project MELLS (lightweight, multi-role guided missile system) to equip the new PUMA armored infantry combat vehicle as well as infantry and special forces. Spike is marketed by the program company EuroSpike GmbH – a joint venture of Diehl, Rheinmetall and Rafael.