IRIS-T Short Range Air-to-Air Missile
Control is everything in an air-to-air combat situation. And control means confidence – offered by Saab's IRIS-T.
Procured by six nations, The IRIS-T is a short-range, highly manoeuvrable, all-aspect air-to-air missile. A sophisticated imaging infra-red seeker, thrust-vector control and a powerful motor allows for the engagement of any target from point-blank all the way to maximum range.
The IRIS-T programme sees the Germany, Greece, Norway, Italy, Spain and Sweden joining together to provide access to technology and expertise across Europe. Diehl BGT Defence is the Prime Contractor.
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Compared with the preceding generation, IRIS-T is characterized by significantly increased manoeuvrability, far greater acquisition range, higher hit accuracy and warhead effectiveness, as well as considerably improved resistance to countermeasures. Even targets behind the launching aircraft can be engaged successfully by IRIS-T.
The imaging infra-red seeker provides extremely high resolution, target discrimination and flare suppression – even when confronted with the latest countermeasures.
The IIR seeker has an all-aspect capability and an acquisition range compatible with the missile's full kinematic range.
Thanks to the solid propellant motor in combination with thrust vector control, highly manoeuvrable targets can be engaged anywhere from directly behind the firing aircraft right up to the missile’s maximum range.
Although a fired IRIS-T often results in a direct hit, it is fitted with a proximity fuze and a high explosive fragmented war head.
The development of IRIS-T was ordered by Germany, Greece, Italy, Norway, Spain and Sweden. In addition, missiles have been ordered by several other nations. The 1,000th IRIS-T was delivered in June 2008.
Diameter, length, mass and centre-of-gravity position have deliberately been chosen in order to meet the requirement for compatibility with its Sidewinder predecessor.
The missile-launcher interface has also been designed to be compatible with both the previous analogue Sidewinder interface and the digital interfaces of modern fighter aircraft.