Ukraine to buy 10 IRIS-T air defence systems from Germany

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EUROPEAN PRAVDA – THURSDAY, 23 JUNE 2022, 17:04

Ukraine has signed a contract with Diehl Defense, a German arms manufacturer, to purchase an IRIS-T air defence system; not even the Bundeswehr [the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Germany – ed.] has these systems in its arsenal.

According to European Pravda, Andrii Melnyk, Ukrainian ambassador to Germany, reported on the deal in an interview with Ukrinform.

"I hope that Berlin will support us in the purchase of another 10 IRIS-T stationary air defence systems, which are considered to be among the most powerful [air defence systems] in the world and which will be able to guarantee the security of the skies over Ukraine in the coming years," Melnyk said.

He added that the contract to purchase the first IRIS-T system from Diehl Defence has already been concluded. According to the contract, the German government will shoulder the 178 million euro bill.

The Ukrainian ambassador to Germany also added that, according to his information, "nothing is preventing Berlin from approving the decision to send the Armed Forces of Ukraine some of their nearly 800 Fuchs transport tanks, 325 Leopard-2 combat tanks, or 380 Marder infantry combat vehicles – without making a dent in Germany’s defence capabilities.

So I really hope that the German government will put aside any excuses and will give Ukraine all the military aid that it can, including from its own reserves," Melnik concluded.

Reference: The IRIS-T SLM system has a range of 40 km and a flight altitude of up to 20 km. An IRIS-T SLM can be used to shoot down fighter jets, helicopters, cruise missiles, rocket artillery, drones and anti-radar missiles.

Earlier: Annalena Baerbock, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany, said that it will take months for the German air defence systems to reach Ukraine.

On Tuesday, 21 June, the German government published a list of weapons which it is preparing to send to Ukraine. It includes 30 Gepard self-propelled artillery systems, IRIS-T SLM air defence systems and M113 armoured personnel carriers.