In March, the Swedish Defense Material Administration signed a contract with Diehl defense for the acquisition of the IRIS-T SLS. The SLS is a ground based air-defense system based around the IRIS-T air-to-air missile. Sweden had been planning to acquire the RBS-23 BAMSE system for national air defense, but the program petered out in recent years due to the overall system cost. A handful of systems were completed, but placed into training use. The RBS-23 BAMSE was intended to replace old Hawk air defense systems. On the other hand, the IRIS-T SLS is reportedly intended to replace the low-altitude RBS-70 system.
No details were immediately released about the scope of the program. The Swedish army has operated several hundred RBS 70 launcher stations, which are a simple pedestal mounted system somewhat similar to the British Starstreak or French Mistral and larger than the man-portable US Army Stinger. The IRIS-T SLS is fundamentally different since the missiles are considerably larger and heavier, and are deployed on trucks using vertical launch cells. The switch from a semi-portable launcher to a truck-based system may reflect Sweden's attempts to trim down the size of its personnel due to budget cutbacks.
The press releases about the contract did not reveal the scope of the contract. Some Swedish accounts have indicated that the initial tranche is valued at around SEK1 billion, or about $145 million. This is a relatively small amount for an air defense system, and may only amount to an initial purchase. Initial deliveries of the system are scheduled for 2016. The Swedish air force already operates the air-to-air version of the IRIS-T missile on its Gripen fighters.
The German armed forces are committed to acquiring the IRIS-T SL, though the scope of the program is expected to undergo review over the next few years. The larger IRIS-T SLM was originally intended to form the underlay of an air defense system centered on the planned MEADS. With the cancellation of MEADS, the defense concept is now open to question. Diehl has been working on the larger and heavier IRIS-T SLM under a government contract since 2007. This system configuration is different from the SLS system being acquired by Sweden. The -SLS is typically mounted on a small Unimog 4x4 truck and carries 4 missiles; in contrast the -SLM is mounted on a larger 8x8 MAN truck, carrying 8 missile cells and supported by a more extensive command and control system.
Teal Group offers online access to all our products through the web. Contact our Sales Staff to obtain a user ID and password for online access. Instructions for accessing the Online Demo are found below. You will only have access to the Online Demo product. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to read the reports on the online access site.
To inquire about online access and site licenses please contact Mr. Tim Storey.