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German defense minister: Ukraine receives another Iris-T air defense system from Germany

by Kateryna Hodunova May 25, 2024 12:20 AM 2 min read
A trade visitor looks at a Diehl IRIS-T SLS anti-aircraft weapon system at the ILA International Aerospace Exhibition on June 22, 2022, in Brandenburg, Germany. (Wolfgang Kumm/picture alliance via Getty Images)
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Kyiv received another Iris-T air defense system from Berlin on May 24, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius confirmed it on X.

"We have once again delivered Iris-T SLM and Iris-T SLS combined fire unit to Ukraine – a highly modern and well-proven medium and short-range air defense system, directly from German industry production," Pistorius said.

Ukraine has asked international partners to deliver more air defense in the wake of a shortage and an increase in Russian strikes targeting energy infrastructure since March.

Berlin previously provided IRIS-T air defense systems to Ukraine, including three IRIS-T SLM systems, with a range of up to 40 kilometers, and one IRIS-T SLS, with a range of up to 12 kilometers.

According to Der Spiegel, Germany pledged to send Ukraine nine Iris-T SLM and eleven Iris-T SLS systems produced by German Diehl Defense.

"Together with the recently delivered Patriot system, we are strengthening the Ukrainian air defense in its fight against Russia's brutal war, which violates international law," the minister added.

Pistorius said in mid-May that Berlin would supply Ukraine with an additional Patriot air defense system without specifying a delivery date.

Since then, there have been no official announcements on further Patriot system provisions.

Initially a hesitant partner, Berlin has become Ukraine's second-largest military donor after the U.S. However, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is still reluctant to supply some key capabilities, namely Taurus long-range missiles.

According to Zelensky, Ukraine needs 25 Patriots to protect the country from Russian attacks. Air defense systems like the Patriot and the IRIS-T are highly effective at intercepting Russia's ballistic and cruise missiles.

Kuleba calls for additional Patriots in wake of ‘heinous attack’ on Kharkiv
“This heinous attack must remind everyone around the world that Ukraine still urgently needs seven ‘Patriot’ systems,” Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on X, thanking Germany for pledging an additional system last month.
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