Sea-to-Air Guided Missile System for U212A (IDASInteractive Defense and Attack System for Submarines)

How do submarines defend themselves against air threats? With IDASInteractive Defense and Attack System for Submarines they are able to fire guided missiles.

Guided Missile System for Submarines

The IDASInteractive Defense and Attack System for Submarines (Interactive Defense and Attack System for Submarines) guided missile system provides submarines with a self-defense capability against airborne threats. These threats may, for example, originate from helicopters which are equipped with lightweight torpedoes for antisubmarine warfare (ASWantisubmarine warfare).

In such a threat situation, submerged submarines have so far not been able to actively defend themselves. The only option available is to hide under water in the hope of avoiding detection.

This purely national project now aims at integrating a guided missile system which can be launched from the submarine and allows the crew of a submerged submarine to defend themselves against ASWantisubmarine warfare helicopters.

Submerged Launch Capability and Flight Control

The core capabilities of this innovative system#een include the ability to launch a missile from a submerged submarine and the missile’s ability to be interactively controlled and guided by the operator during its entire flight. To that end, the data connection between guided missile and submarine is also maintained during the flight via an optical fiber.

Mode of Operation

The attacking helicopter is identified by the sonar system of the submarine. Afterwards, the target data are displayed on the operator’s tactical console.

Chart depicting a submarine under water engaging a ship, a helicopter and a coastal target

Schematic representation of the employment of an IDASInteractive Defense and Attack System for Submarines guided missile

IDAS Consortium

In a next step, the guided missile is hydraulically ejected from the torpedo tube. Once its motor#een has ignited at a safe distance from the submarine, the missile starts moving in the direction of the target under water. At this point, it is already possible to change direction in order to engage the target from the side or from behind. Thanks to a booster, the guided missile breaks the water surface and rises to cruising altitude. The guided missile’s wings are unfolded for flight control.

During the homing phase, the guided missile flies towards the previously selected probable target area at maximum speed. Throughout the entire mission, the system communicates graphical views of the environment perceived by the guided missile’s seeker and information on the targets to the operator in the submerged submarine via optical fiber. This enables the operator to intervene at all times, if need be, and to change or correct the operational target designation or to abort the mission at any point in time.

At the end of the mission, the target is engaged by initiating the warhead and its fragmentation effect.


The project started in 2018. As the system is completely new, development is scheduled to be completed after a period of four years by the end of 2023. The system is planned to be fielded with the German Armed Forces and handed over to the German Navy after the completion of development activities and the successful operational suitability test in 2024.

Technical Data

DimensionActual value
Length2,800 mm
Diameter180 mm
Weight140 kg
Speed240 m/s

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