The Slovenia Times

Slovenia to purchase German air defence systems

An exercise involving Slovenian and US air defence unit. Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

Slovenia will participate in the procurement of IRIS-T SLM air defence systems from Germany as part of the European Sky Shield Initiative (ESSI) under an agreement signed between the two countries' defence ministries in Berlin on 6 December.

According to the Slovenian Ministry of Defence, the agreement will serve as a stepping stone for the procurement of a medium-range air defence system from the German manufacturer Diehl Defence GmbH.

Slovenia and 14 other countries signed a letter of intent to join the ESSI on the sidelines of a meeting of NATO ministers in October 2022. Started by Germany, the initiative now includes 19 European countries.

According to the ministry, Slovenia is the first of the 19 members of the initiative to sign a programme agreement with Germany for the purchase of an IRIS-T SLM system.

In August this year the European Sky Shield Initiative Memorandum of Understanding was signed to create a basis to establish a mechanism of joint public procurement of air defence systems.

According to unofficial information obtained by the newspaper Delo, Slovenia agreed to buy two IRIS-T systems in June, and at the time the contract was valued at €200 million.

The systems are surface-to-air variants with a range of up to 40 kilometres that can hit targets at altitudes of up to 20,000 metres.

Delo wrote that Germany supplied two IRIS-T systems to Ukraine and according to the Ukrainian Defence Ministry, the missiles had a 100% success rate.


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