Diehl Defense has signed a contract to supply additional short range air-air missiles IRIS-T (InfraRed Imaging System – Tail/Thrust Vector Controlled) to Thailand earlier this month.
The Royal Thai Air force had selected the European short-range missile for arming first their Gripen- and later also their F-16 fighter aircraft in 2011. In addition, the new procurement plans to integrate the missile additionally into the F-5 fleet, making IRIS-T standard armament of the Royal Thai Air Force, the company said in a statement Wednesday.
IRIS-T is a short-range air-to-air missiles used against attacking air-to-air or ground-to-air missiles. Even attacks from rear hemisphere can successfully be defeated without having to change the course of their own aircraft.
IRIS-T was developed and procured by Germany, Greece, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden as the successor to the aging Sidewinder missiles. The series production started in 2005. Other user states today include Austria, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Thailand.
As a multi-purpose weapon, IRIS-T is also used as a surface-to-air missile in a ground-based air defense role.