The agreement, approved by the Budget Committee of the Bundestag, includes not only operational missiles but also missiles for testing purposes and training equipment. The procurement of these nearly three-meter-long missiles is funded through the Ertüchtigungstitel in the federal budget.
The IRIS-T missile, an acronym for “Infra Red Imaging System Tail,” was developed under German leadership in a multinational effort and has been in service with the Bundeswehr since 2005. It serves as the standard short-range armament for Eurofighter and Tornado combat aircraft. Featuring an infrared seeker capable of distinguishing between heat sources of targets and infrared decoys, the IRIS-T missile is versatile in its deployment. Following a software adjustment, it can also be launched from ground vehicles, a functionality Ukraine has utilized this year.
The first batch of these ordered missiles is scheduled for delivery in 2026, with the framework agreement extending until 2030. This move underscores Germany’s commitment to maintaining its military capabilities while supporting international defence efforts.