The IRIS-T SLM air defence system proves itself in the conditions of a real full-scale military conflict in Ukraine. It has been purchased by the armed forces of Estonia and Latvia, for whom it will be a significant qualitative leap, just like for the Slovenians. The Ministry of Defence of Slovenia wants the investment to be understood as a national contribution to the emerging NATO air defence network.
Slovenia is a member of the European Sky Shield Initiative programme, which aims to create a joint European defence against airborne threats under the leadership of Germany. The basis of the new project consists of the IRIS-T SLM and PATRIOT air defence systems, which together will provide medium and long-range air defence.
The planned acquisition of the IRIS-T SLM system has already caused tensions in the Slovenian government, facing criticism from a left-wing coalition partner claiming that Slovenia does not need to buy air defence systems to enhance its security.
The IRIS-T SLM fire unit of three missile launchers, a TOC command center with a fire control system, and a multifunctional TRML-4D radar station (produced by HENSOLDT) operating in the centimeter C-band with a range of 250 km. The system is designed to engage targets at a distance of 40km and at an altitude of 20km. Diehl Defence, the manufacturer of system, ensures that the IRIS-T SLM can simultaneously engage multiple targets. Effectors can engage combat aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles, and maneuvering and artillery rockets.