Ground-Based Air Defense

Ground-Based Air Defense

  • Air Force
Reading time:
1 MIN
The anti-aircraft missile group fires live Patriot anti-aircraft missile system.

Live firing of the PatriotPhased Array Tracking Radar to Intercept on Target air defense missile system during the Tactical Firing 2019 exercise at the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) Missile Firing Installation (NAMFI) on the Greek island of Crete.

German Air Force/Francis Hildemann

The German Air Force supplies forces, assets and capabilities of the surface-to-air missile units for deployment in peacekeeping, crisis management and collective defense operations. Deployment takes place in multinational units and only according to national orders. Already in peacetime, without recourse to mobilization and build-up, the surface-to-air missile forces must be capable of conducting multinational and joint operations even beyond the geographical area of the Alliance.

A MANTIS gun of the 61 anti-aircraft missile group.

61 Surface-to-Air Missile Group’s MANTISModular, Automatic and Network capable Targeting and Interception System (Modular, Automatic and Network capable Targeting and Interception System) air defense system in the Raab Barracks in Mautern an der Donau, Austria, during a large-scale exercise.

German Air Force/Lars Koch

Today, following the implementation of the reorientation of the German Air Force, there is only one wing: 1 Surface-to-Air Missile Wing Schleswig-Holstein. All surface-to-air missile units of the German Air Force, with the exception of 61 Surface-to-Air Missile Group, are subordinate to this wing. Besides the German Air Force Air Defense Center, this includes 21 Surface-to-Air Missile Group in Sanitz, 24 Surface-to-Air Missile Group in Bad Sülze and 26 Surface-to-Air Missile Group in Husum, which are equipped with the PatriotPhased Array Tracking Radar to Intercept on Target weapon system. 61 Surface-to-Air Missile Group in Panker has the following weapon systems: the Light Air Defense System, MANTISModular, Automatic and Network capable Targeting and Interception System (Modular, Automatic and Network capable Targeting and Interception System) and, at the Putlos site, the Air Surveillance Radar.

The Ozelot weapon carrier of 61 Surface-to-Air Missile Group.

An Ozelot weapon carrier of 61 Surface-to-Air Missile Group in firing position for firing practice at the Ustka missile firing installation during the multinational TOBRUQ LEGACY exercise held in Poland in 2019.

German Air Force/Christian Timmig


The surface-to-air missile forces are deployed to protect areas, facilities or facility groups and mobile operations. Their mission is to ensure extensive and sustainable air defense protection. Since the withdrawal of the HAWK and Roland weapon systems from service at the end of 2005, ground-based air defense has been mainly performed using the PatriotPhased Array Tracking Radar to Intercept on Target weapon system.


by German Air Force  Headquarters