The IRIS-T short range air-to-air missile (SRAAM) of Diehl BGT Defence, a subsidiary of Diehl Defence, was selected by the South African Air Force (SAAF) to equip their Gripen fighter aircraft.
The IRIS-T was chosen to arm the SAAF Gripen as an interim solution until the local missile development - the A Darter - will be operational.
The South African Acquisition Organization Armscor placed a contract order for the procurement of IRIS-T in the second half of May 2008. In the course of 2009, the IRIS-T missile will be fully operational with the Gripens of the South African Air Force. South Africa is the second export customer for the European missile. Austria selected the IRIS-T missile at the end of 2005 with full deliveries in 2007.
The IRIS-T missile, a state-of-the-art SRAAM with unrivalled performance capabilities, entered service with the Air Forces of Germany, Greece, Italy, Norway, Spain and Sweden at the end of 2005. The IRIS-T is a six nation program under German lead with Diehl BGT Defence acting as industrial prime contractor. The Swedish Air Force operates the IRIS-T missile on its Gripens as well.
Today there are around 4.000 missiles in the order books. Apart from the Gripen aircraft, the
IRIS-T missile has been integrated into the Eurofighter (Typhoon), F-16, F-18 and Tornado.
Source: Diehl continues IRIS-T export success
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