Sunday, November 9, 2014

Aero India 2015: Diehl Defense to Exhibit IRIS-T Short Range Air-to-Air Missile

By M.begenat (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons
Germany's Diehl Defense has announced that it will exhibit its IRIS-T short-range air-to-air missile at Aero India 2015 in Bengaluru from February 18-22.

Germany decided to develop the IRIS-T when following reunification in 1990 it realized that the Vympel R-73 missiles (NATO reporting name: AA-11 Archer) on its MiG-29s was far more capable than earlier realized. The R-73 seeker was better at detecting and tracking targets than the seeker on the latest variant of the AIM-9 sidewinder. Also, the R-73 was  more maneuverable than its American analogue.

The IRIS-T is claimed to have higher ECM-resistance and flare suppression than contemporary dogfight missiles; its superior target discrimination facilitates head-on firing at a range 5 to 8 times greater than the AIM-9L. The IRIS-T's ability to turn at  rate as high as 60 deg/sec withstanindg 60 g allows it to engage targets in the rear quarter.

IRIS-T can successfully engage flying targets at a distance of up to 25 kilometers, reaches a speed exceeding Mach 3, weighs nearly 90 kg. It is 2.94 m long and has a body diameter of 12.7 cm.

IRIS-T has been jointly developed by Germany (46%), Italy (19%), Sweden (18%), Greece (13%), Canada and Norway (combined 4%).

Late in 2013, there were reports that the IAF was in negotiations with Dassault to make the Rafale compatible with the R-73 missile, of which the IAF had ordered a large stock. The Diehl pitch for IRIS-T would leverage the existing compatibility between IRIS-T and Rafale.