Germany plans to buy eight IRIS-T air defence systems for its military - document

BERLIN, Feb 1 (Reuters) - Germany aims to purchase eight IRIS-T air defence units for its military, according to a document seen by Reuters, referring to a medium-range surface-to-air system that Berlin has bought to donate to Kyiv but not yet purchased for its own forces.

The defence ministry paper, dated Jan. 25 and seen by Reuters on Wednesday, lists the defence deal as one of several planned purchases expected to be submitted for approval to parliament in the second quarter of 2023.

A spokesperson for the defence ministry said it intended to submit a deal on the purchase of the IRIS-T system to parliament this year but declined to comment on the number of units and the exact timing.

In October, Ukraine received the first of four IRIS-T air defence systems pledged by Germany to help Kyiv protect its cities from missile and drone attacks.

The systems are estimated to cost 150 million euros ($163 million) apiece.

The German armed forces themselves do not currently own the system built by privately held German arms maker Diehl and considered among the world's most advanced.

The fire units can launch missiles over a distance of 40 kilometres (25 miles) to take down fighter jets, helicopters, drones, missiles and cruise missiles.

Also in the second quarter, the defence ministry aims to submit to parliament deals to replace the howitzers and corresponding 155mm rounds that were supplied to Ukraine out of German military stocks, the document says.

The paper notes that some of the purchases listed for the second quarter may also be dealt with by parliament in its session in July, before deputies head off into their summer break.

($1 = 0.9184 euros)

Reporting by Sabine Siebold Editing by Thomas Escritt and Mark Potter

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