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DIEHL Defence and HENSOLDT are Enhancing the Performance of their Existing Ground-based Air Defence Systems

Products for protection against new threats available at short notice

Defence Industry

Taufkirchen/Überlingen, Germany. The system houses Diehl Defence and HENSOLDT have agreed to intensify their cooperation in the field of ground-based air defence. Based on proven joint systems that are currently in production and can be delivered at short notice, the two companies intend to offer top-class products for defence against missile threats. These air defence systems employ the latest technologies, thus offering defensive potential even against new and emerging threats. The companies can thereby make a contribution to addressing the changed threat situation for Germany and in Europe.

Diehl Defence and HENSOLDT already work together in the field of ground-based air defence systems. In its medium-range system (IRIS-T SLM), Diehl Defence has integrated the battle management standard software IBMS-FC from Airbus, as well as active and passive radars from HENSOLDT, transferred them to series production and already delivered them to an export customer. The IRIS-T SLM missiles are part of Diehl Defence’s IRIS-T product family.

Helmut Rauch, CEO of Diehl Defence, said: “I am pleased to be able to further optimize our existing air defence systems through more intensive collaboration with HENSOLDT to provide solutions for new threat situations.”

Thomas Müller, CEO of HENSOLDT, said: “We combine the expertise of two high-tech companies whose products are regarded as benchmark worldwide. Our jointly-developed systems have no reason to fear international comparison and guarantee unrestricted access to national key technologies.”

IRIS-T SLM can be supplemented by elements of the short-range version IRIS-T SLS, which is already under contract in several European countries and is in operational use in Sweden, in order to also meet the requirements for so-called short-range and very short-range protection (NNbS). For this purpose, Diehl Defence has already presented a further developed variant which is now under contract outside NATO and is in the process of implementation. This provides a product portfolio that is capable of meeting the demands of German air defence.

The cooperation between Diehl Defence and HENSOLDT within the framework of IRIS-T SLM involves the multifunctional radar TRML-4D and the optional passive radar Twinvis, in addition to the launcher with missiles and the command center. IRIS-T SLM already provides highly effective protection against enemy aircraft, helicopters, missiles and drones and, unlike alternatively discussed solutions, meets all range and performance requirements.

Based on their cooperation in a joint export program, Diehl Defence and HENSOLDT are now deepening their cooperation, taking into account the threat situation in Germany. Joint projects for other customers of Diehl Defence with further partners in other countries remain unaffected.

In view of threats from missiles and rockets, new air defence systems will be needed in the future to protect the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany within the framework of NATO’s integrated air defence. This requires the equipment with ground-based air defence systems, whose interceptor missiles have a range of 40 km and can engage targets up to an altitude of 20 km. In addition, 360° all-round protection shall be achieved, which will also take into account attacks with cruise missiles. Full interoperability with the existing NATO-integrated air defence architecture is also equally essential.

A performance upgrade of the existing IRIS-T SLM system in the form of IRIS-T SLX is under development at Diehl Defence and HENSOLDT to supplement the existing air defence system by providing greater range (up to 80 km) and altitude coverage (up to 30 km) against airborne targets to improve response and warning times.

The joint solutions from Diehl Defence and HENSOLDT can be made available to the German customer from the third quarter of 2022 if a procurement decision is made soon. These are products which, as purely German systems, do not rely on foreign technology and therefore offer the highest degree of admissibility and certifiability for operation in Germany and, in addition, the highest possible supply security. At the same time, full interoperability with the NATO-integrated air defence architecture is given.