The German Defense Ministry said on Wednesday that it could not provide details on Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s pledge to supply Ukraine with a certain air defense system. The reason cited was that the Bundeswehr – the nation’s armed forces – does not have the weapon in stock.
The weapon in question is called IRIS-T and it can come in the form of a short-range air-to-air missile or a ground-based short-range or medium-range air defense system.
When asked which of these systems Berlin plans to send Kiev, the Defense Ministry’s spokesman, Naval Captain David Helmbold, replied that “this question should be ultimately addressed to the [defense] industry since we do not have these systems in our service.” He added that he could not clarify the issue as the Bundeswehr does not possess such air-defense systems in its arsenal.
The comment came just hours after Scholz told the parliament that his government planned to send more advanced systems to Ukraine, including an IRIS-T system and counter-battery radars capable of detecting artillery fire and pinpointing the location of the enemy artillery systems that opened it. The chancellor did not elaborate whether he meant air-to-air missiles or ground-based systems when speaking about IRIS-T.