Arming Royal Thai Air Force GRIPEN, F-16 & F-5
On 14 June, Diehl Defence signed another contract for the supply of short range air-air missiles IRIS-T (InfraRed Imaging System – Tail/Thrust Vector Controlled) to Thailand, continuing the successful cooperation of recent years.
As early as 2011, the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) had selected the European short-range missile for arming their GRIPEN and F-16 fighters. In addition, the new procurement plans to integrate the missile into the F-5 fleet.
With its exceptional performance features, IRIS-T is one of the world´s most advanced short-range air-to-air missiles. In addition to defeat enemy fighter aircraft, self defence capability against attacking air-to-air or ground-to-air missiles is provided. Even attacks from the rear can successfully be defeated without having to change course.
IRIS-T was developed and procured by Germany, Greece, Italy, Norway, Spain and Sweden as successor of the aging SIDEWINDER missiles. The series production started in 2005. Other user states today include Austria, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and, case in point, Thailand.
As a multi-purpose weapon, IRIS-T is also used as a surface-to-air missile in a ground-based air defence role.