PATRIOT, IRIS-T, Meteor: Germany approves major missile procurements

By Defence Industry Europe

Germany has embarked on a significant reinforcement of its defence capabilities with the approval of substantial missile procurements.


The first major decision involves the replenishment of IRIS-T air-to-air missiles, which have been a crucial part of the armament for Tornado strike aircraft and Eurofighter multirole fighters since 2005. An order of 120 IRIS-T missiles, valued at 108 million euros, aims to compensate for the missiles handed over to Ukraine as part of the IRIS-T SLS anti-aircraft systems. This move by the Bundeswehr was a response to Ukraine’s urgent need for defence against Russian air attacks. The new missiles, scheduled for delivery in 2026, are part of a larger framework agreement potentially encompassing up to 1280 missiles.



Additionally, the committee has greenlit the acquisition of 500 guided missiles, along with spare parts, for the PATRIOT air defence system. The investment for this program amounts to 3.01 billion euros. The Bundeswehr’s special modernization fund will finance the purchase of 400 missiles for approximately 2.4 billion euros, with the remaining 100 missiles, costing around 602 million euros, to be covered by the regular defence budget. This procurement is set to replenish depleted military stockpiles and enhance Ukraine’s anti-aircraft defences. The NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) will facilitate both orders, with deliveries planned between 2027 and 2033.



Furthermore, Germany has approved a third program to initiate research for upgrading the Meteor long-range air-to-air missile, an integral part of the Eurofighter Typhoon’s armament. With a budget of 34.9 million euros, the project will explore improvements to the missile’s radar seeker, propulsion system, data link, and warhead, with research commencing next year and findings expected by 2025. Notably, five other European countries are participating in this project, likely including the primary Eurofighter users: Germany, Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom, and presumably France.



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