Most prominently featured is the air-to-air missile IRIS-T, which is currently being integrated into the KF-21 fighter, a 4.5 generation multi-role fighter aircraft under development by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) at the moment. As most recent milestone in the KF-21 program, the missile was successfully test-fired from KF-21 prototype No. 2 in April 2023.
In addition to the IRIS-T exhibit on the Diehl Defence stand, the missile will also be on display integrated into a KF-21 aircraft at KAI’s static display . The long standing cooperation between Diehl Defence and KAI extends to the FA-50/T-50 aircraft since ADEX 2021, when the two partners agreed on an MoU for the integration of IRIS-T into this platform as well.
So far, IRIS-T has been integrated into major combat aircraft platforms such as Panavia Tornado, Eurofighter Typhoon, JAS-39 Gripen, F-16, EF-18 and F-5. The system is in service or on order with several NATO countries as well as Brazil, Thailand, Saudi Arabia and South Africa.
With the successful integration program on KF-21, IRIS-T proves once more its compatibility with both legacy and modern fighter aircraft. The integration of IRIS-T into the KF-21 opens up new market opportunities for Diehl Defence and IRIS-T.
KF-21 aircraft are expected to be delivered to the program launch nations Korea and Indonesia starting from late 2026. IRIS-T will be ready to complete the weapon inventory of KF-21.
Beyond IRIS-T, the Diehl Defence stand at ADEX 2023 will feature ammunition products and the ground-based air defence system IRIS-T SLM, which is combat-proven in current operations and will be an important element in air defence systems of several European countries.