The first of the four Iris-T SLM air defense systems that Germany promised to provide to Ukraine were delivered on Tuesday (10/11), according to German media.
The anti-aircraft system, considered by some experts to be one of the most modern in the world, was developed by the German arms company Diehl Defense, based in Oberlingen.
According to the German magazine Der SpiegelToday, the first unit was delivered to Ukraine on the country’s border with Poland.
This first unit of Diehl’s manufacture was originally scheduled to be sent to Egypt, but the Cairo government agreed to give the Ukrainians its turn. Berlin had intended to deliver only the first of four units promised to Ukraine from November, but the shipment accelerated after Russia attacked several civilian targets in Ukrainian cities on Monday.
“The firing of new missiles at Kyiv and other cities shows how important it is to quickly equip Ukraine with air defense systems,” German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said in a statement issued on Monday.
“The Russian attacks with missiles and drones are terrorizing the civilian population in the first place,” Lambrecht said.
The main objective of the Iris-T SLM is to protect the civilian population. German Federal Chancellor Olaf Schulz claimed that a single unit could protect an “entire city” from air attacks.
Anti-aircraft missiles of this system can hit targets at an altitude of 20 kilometers and at a distance of 40 kilometers, which is a greater range than the range of the Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, which Germany also delivered to Ukraine.
The Iris-T SLM systems consist of three parts: ballistics that can be installed on any truck with a ramp and radar, and a command module that is installed in two other vehicles. The next three units should be delivered to Ukraine next year, as the equipment still needs to be manufactured.
jps (dpa, ots)
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