Under a preliminary agreement, deliveries of the IRIS-T SLM medium-range air defense system, made by German company Diehl Defense, can begin next year, with it expected to become operational by 2025, the Associated Press reports. The amount of the transaction and detailed information on the number of systems were not disclosed as negotiations with the supplier are still ongoing, the two countries’ military departments said. Estonian Defense Minister Hanno Pevkur called the agreement “a historic joint project for our defense cooperation, the largest to date” between Tallinn and Riga.
Consisting of truck-mounted launchers, missiles and an independent command vehicle, the German air defense system is designed to protect cities, armies and civilians from air strikes and is effective in neutralizing aircraft and helicopters. The system can be used to defend against a variety of other threats, such as UAVs, cruise missiles, and loitering munitions. Previously, Germany supplied IRIS-T air defense systems to Ukraine.