German key weapon manufacturer to transfer new Iris-T Air defense system to Ukraine in coming weeks

IRIS-T SAM division on operational duty in Ukraine
IRIS-T SAM division on operational duty in Ukraine

Ukraine will receive a new air defense system promptly, ‘in the next few weeks’, Helmut Rauch, German weapon manufacturer Diehl Defence head, told Bild during his Kyiv visit with German Vice-Chancellor and Minister of Economy Robert Habek.

Diehl Defence is a partner of the German Bundeswehr and international armed forces, it produces IRIS-T SLM (Surface Launched Medium Range) air defense system.

“Three of our systems are already in Ukraine, and more will be delivered this year,” he said.

“The next one is due to arrive in just a few weeks.”

German delegation arrived in Kyiv on April 18.

Habek will meet with the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Economy Minister Yulia Svyrydenko, and Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko, the publication wrote. Then the vice-chancellor will go to Chisinau, where he is scheduled to meet with the Moldova Prime Minister Dorin Recean.

Germany confirmed the second IRIS-T air defense system transfer to Ukraine at the end of April, and promised four more to arrive. Ukrainian authorities confirmed its effectiveness — the air defense system intercepts “nine out of ten targets.”

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Strengthening Ukrainian Air Defense

Kyiv will convene a meeting of the Ukraine-NATO Council on April 19 to discuss assistance the country can get to better protect its airspace from Russian attacks, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his April 16 evening address.

The European Union may buy Patriot air defense systems from countries that have them but are unwilling to transfer them to Ukraine, Dutch PM Mark Rutte said on April 17.

The Netherlands promised EUR 4 billion ($4.27 billion) in military aid for Ukraine, which includes the transfer of several Patriot systems.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on April 12 that Ukraine was actively negotiating with allies to acquire two Patriot batteries and one SAMP-T unit. If partners were ready to transfer these systems, he added, the issue could be resolved “within weeks.”

Kyiv’s partners were reluctant to transfer “five to seven” Patriot systems to Ukraine, even though they have more than a hundred at their disposal, he noted on April 3.

Ukraine had submitted requests for additional Patriots to every country that owns them, Zelenskyy said on March 30.

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