In early December 2012, a prototype of the IRIS-T SL guided missile of Diehl Defence successfully homed in on a target in a firing test performed at the Overberg Test Range in South Africa in the presence of representatives of the German public authorities.
In this test against a drone carried out within the context of a so-called validation trials campaign, the entire target – radar – fire control – weapon computer – data link functional chain of the new missile for the German Armed Forces’ future air defence was tested for the first time.
The aerodynamic shroud designed to reduce air drag separated from the missile at a distance from the target precalculated by the guidance computer. Based on the radar target data continuously transmitted via data link, the seeker was slaved to the target, acquired it and homed the missile in on the target.
Thus, perfect target cueing by external radar data, target acquisition after launch and subsequent target tracking were successfully demonstrated and all test objectives achieved.
The new IRIS-T SL surface-launched missile is being developed by Diehl Defence as an adaptive development commissioned by the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw). It is based on the IRIS-T air-to-air guided missile introduced in service with the German Air Force and other European as well as international air forces as weapon system for modern fighter aircraft.