ROUNDUP 2/’New era in air defense’: Ukraine launched the Iris-T system | news

ROUNDUP 2/’New era in air defense’: Ukraine launched the Iris-T system |  news

(new: Lambrecht, Stoltenberg, Melnyk, more details)

Kyiv/BERLIN (dpa-AFX) – After the first delivery of the Iris-T SLM air defense system to Ukraine, the federal government wants to quickly seek further support. Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) described the weapon systems at a NATO meeting in Brussels on Wednesday as important support for Ukraine “in the fight against rocket fire, against this terror that is being exercised against the population”. Lambrecht also referred to statements by the Ukrainian head of state Volodymyr Zelenskyy. “Air defense is the most important thing at the moment, and that’s why we’re supporting it with all the options we have,” she said.

Three more Iris-T systems are to be made available in the coming year. The arrival of the first system was confirmed by Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Resnikov on Wednesday night on Twitter. “A new era of air defense” has now begun. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also welcomed the German delivery. It is extremely important that the Allies deliver air defense systems to Ukraine. The Norwegian said that advice would be given on how to expand the support.

Germany initially wants to provide Kyiv with four of the 140 million euro systems of the ground-based type of Iris-T, the financing of three more has been secured. A system consists of several components: radar installation, command post and three truck-mounted rocket launchers. It is served by 30 to 40 soldiers at a time. The decision to shoot down an approaching object is made by a Fire Control Officer. Ukrainian soldiers have already been trained on the weapon system in Germany. The industry took over the technical support, specialists of the air force the tactical training.

Iris-T SLM can fire at targets up to 20 kilometers altitude and 40 kilometers range. So a kind of protective screen is stretched over an area. One of the systems can protect a medium-sized city like Nuremberg or Hanover.

“Especially the ground-based air defense is able to permanently protect rooms over a long period of time,” writes the manufacturer Diehl Defense, who played a key role in developing Iris-T. The system is designed for “multiple target engagement” and “360-degree all-round protection”. It fires one or more missiles to ward off helicopters, aircraft, cruise missiles, and missiles. The radar determines the direction of the attack; At the end of the approach, the rocket’s seeker head, which reacts to infrared, i.e. thermal radiation, takes over.

A variant of these missiles is already part of the armament of the Eurofighter and Tornado combat aircraft. They are used as an air-to-air missile and thus on the section of the path to the target where the infrared seeker steers.

There is no such thing as 100 percent protection against attackers. Thus, decoys can deflect a single missile or a majority of attacking objects can overwhelm the sensors or the entire air defense system (“oversaturate”).

The anti-aircraft system is mobile and can quickly change location when scouted by the enemy. The system is then ready to fire again in a short time. In the armed forces the ground-based system itself is not to be introduced until 2025. Germany is working on expanding defenses in its own airspace and along NATO’s eastern flank and is about to conclude an arms deal with Israel.

It is about the purchase of the Arrow 3 system. This is the highest level of Israel’s multi-stage missile defense and can destroy attacking weapon systems up to 100 kilometers above the atmosphere in the beginning of space. This also increases the protected area on the ground. Warheads are destroyed and rendered harmless far from the target. Most recently, the US – who provide the engine for this otherwise largely Israeli development – did not agree to the deal and caused delays. It is being observed whether the USA is possibly putting the brakes on the brakes and preventing a military gap in Europe from being closed due to its own industrial policy interests.

The Ukraine is experiencing the serious consequences of rocket attacks on population centers and industrial plants: The Russian shelling in the past few days has obviously been aimed particularly at energy infrastructure, for example in Lviv in the west several substations were completely destroyed. Many residents were cut off from electricity.

Resnikov announced that US Nasams air defense systems were also on the way. “This is just the beginning. And we need more. There is no doubt that Russia is a terrorist state,” the minister continued. There is a “moral imperative” to protect the skies over Ukraine to protect our people.

The outgoing ambassador of Ukraine in Germany, Andrij Melnyk, thanked the German government for the delivery of the Iris-T SLM. Decisions by the federal government for further deliveries beyond the three other systems that have already been agreed are already necessary, Melnyk told the German Press Agency.

“Because you see: Putin is waging this war above all against cities, against people, against infrastructure objects, against power plants. And that’s why many more systems have to come, also from Germany. Orders have to be placed today so that we don’t have the systems in the year 2024,” said Melnyk. And: “That is my appeal and that is my big request to the Federal Chancellor (Olaf Scholz) to continue on this path.”/cn/DP/stw

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