Germany weighs new short-range air defense system acquisition

Germany to acquire new short-range air defense systems
Photo of the air defense system being developed

Germany is nearing a decision to introduce new short-range air defense systems to help fend off concern among NATO members after U.S. President Trump’s  statements about the military alliance.

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If a decision is made, Germany will proceed with a procurement program valued at €460 million which would run through the middle of the next decade, with an additional 2 billion euros in further spending likely in a later phase, said one of the sources.

According to German ministry of Defense sources, a decision has not yet been taken on how to proceed with the program, although officials reportedly had a favorable view on an Diehl’s IRIS-T which is used by Germany’s Eurofighter Typhoon jets, which could be adapted for ground-based launch with new software update.

Diehl submitted a separate proposal to build a missile for a medium-range air and missile defense system that the German government is evaluating.

Once the decision is finalized, the German Defense Ministry will map out its functional requirements, to be completed in May, the source said. That would be followed by development of a formal acquisition strategy.

A spokesman for Diehl did not comment on the upcoming decision.