German missile specialist Diehl Defence has entered into an agreement with compatriot defense technology company Hensoldt to enhance its ground based air defense (GBAD) system IRIS-T SLM with optional passive radar capabilities.
These upgrades, coming in the form of the Hensoldt Twinvis radar, are expected to increase the system’s overall reconnaissance capacity, the company said.
The agreement will see Hensoldt support the testing and integration of the passive radar components at Diehl’s test and integration facility in Roethenbach, Germany.
The medium-range GBAD system IRIS-T SLM in its current configuration is equipped with the active multifunctional radar TRML-4D which is the main sensor of the IRIS-T SLM fire unit.
Adding passive radar capabilities will provide IRIS-T SLM operators with the additional features of emission-free early detection of air objects as well as relaying the picture of an air situation to the operating personnel without radiating the main sensor.
The integration of passive radar functions optimizes the situational awareness of the Fire Unit on IRIS-T SLM, increases the survivability of the GBAD system by identifying, verifying and reducing the impact of hostile electronic counter measures and strengthens the assertiveness of Diehl’s GBAD system against threats, both imminent as well as later on.
“Integrating passive radar capabilities into IRIS-T SLM offers operators the supplementary option of a mobile and non-emitting radar solution for air target surveillance, which is complementary to the TRML-4D active radar. The additional feature can provide omnidirectional 3D tracking of more than 180 objects up to a range of 250 km (sensor-to-target),” Diehl said.
The announcement followed the company’s completion of operational testing of the IRIS-T SLM (surface-launched medium range) missile that was further developed to operate as part of a ground-based air defense system.