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Diehl's IRIS-T missile completes qualification testing

An air defense missile from Diehl Defense of Germany successfully downed its targets in qualification testing.

By Richard Tomkins
Diehl's IRIS-T missile completes qualification testing
An IRIS-T air defense missile is launched during qualification testing. Photo: Diehl Defense.

UBERLINGEN , Germany, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- Diehl Defense of Germany reports it has completed guided missile qualification testing of its IRIS-T surface launched weapon.

The full performance demonstration testing of the short-to-medium range missile was conducted last month at the Overberg Test Range in South Africa and involved the use of jet target drones performing evasive maneuvers at various altitudes.

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"The performance demonstration firings concluded a series of test firings as part of the IRIS-T SL system development," Diehl Defense said. "Having been contracted by the Federal Office of Bundeswehr for Equipment, Information Technology, and In-Service Support (BAAINBw), representatives of the BAAINBw as well as the German Air Force witnessed IRIS-T SL's impressive performance in full accordance with the requirements of the German Air Force."

Diehl said the first target successfully engaged was at a distance of more than 18 miles and was flying at an altitude of more than 39,000 feet. The second firing was at very close range to the launch point. The IRIS-T SL jettisoned its aerodynamic cover shortly after launch and quickly initiated a hard turn-over maneuver toward the low flying target.

In the third firing, the missile struck its drone target despite the target's dive/pull-up evasive maneuvers.

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The IRIS-T SL is slated to be part of a future German Air and Missile Defense System.

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