IRIS-T. Specifications. A photo.

IRIS-T. Specifications. A photo.

IRIS-T (Infra Red Imaging System Tail / Thrust Vector-Controlled) is an anti-aircraft missile system developed in Germany by the German company Diehl BGT Defense. Designed to destroy all types of aerodynamic targets and ballistic missiles. It is considered an advanced air defense system with the ability to integrate with NATO standard air defense systems. Available in short and medium range options.

History of creation

The IRIS-T anti-aircraft missile system is a launcher adapted for launching air-to-air missiles, which ensures low-cost engagement of various types of targets. Including cruise missiles, drones, etc.

The IRIS-T air defense system began to be developed in 1996. Several European countries worked on the complex, which made it possible to reduce the development time and apply several different technologies, providing the complex with a sufficiently large range of targets. The first deliveries of the IRIS-T air defense system began to enter service with European countries in 2009.

Modifications of the IRIS-T air defense system

As of December 2022, IRIS-T anti-aircraft missile systems exist in two different versions - short and medium range. The maximum range of destruction for these complexes is 40 kilometers.


SAM IRIS-T SLS is a short-range anti-aircraft missile system. With a target engagement range of 25 kilometers, 8 missiles installed in the launcher provide the ability to repel even massive attacks.

The IRIS-T SLS variant is designed primarily to combat aircraft, helicopters and cruise missiles. However, due to its features, the complex is not a successful enough solution to combat unmanned aerial vehicles, especially those operating at low altitudes.



The IRIS-T SLM air defense system is a medium-range air defense system. The maximum target engagement range is 40 kilometers, while the complex is more adapted to combat drones.

Similar complexes were transferred to Ukraine in November 2022. According to Ukrainian sources, the efficiency of hitting targets with these air defense systems is 90%, in particular, it was reported that 9 out of 10 targets were successfully shot down.

IRIS-T air defense systems are in service with at least 11 countries of the world

  • Austria
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Spain
  • Italy
  • Norway
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Thailand
  • Ukraine
  • Sweden
  • South Africa

Blog and articles