The Royal Malaysian Navy operates in a strategically demanding environment of the disputed South China Sea which has witnessed several incidents of boarding parties, detainment, poaching and even naval skirmishes. It was pointed out at a recent Shangri-La Dialogue discussion that Asia-Pacific states confront an extraordinarily wide array of maritime capability requirements, ranging from the need to deter potential adversaries in territorial and other disputes at one end of the spectrum, and at the other end of the spectrum requirements related to the protection of maritime resources, counter-piracy, counter-trafficking, and responding to natural disasters and accidents.
As part of its modernization drive, the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) is currently looking at procurement of missile corvettes, anti-submarine helicopters and small crafts to deal with such threats, while seeking to replace its obsolete missiles and torpedoes with urgency.
It is in that context that Saab, which has been a trusted supplier to Malaysian armed forces for more than four decades now, has offered Malaysia its true fire and forget missile system, the RBS 15. The RBS15 Mk3 is the most modern surface-to surface missile system that not only gives a navy the power to act but also the power to win. As a long-range system, it is excellent as a main anti-surface armament for any type of naval vessel. It is specially designed to operate in a diverse range of scenarios, from anti-ship engagement in blue waters and littorals to land attack missions. The RBS15 family is already used by nine different Services in six countries.
Latest generation Surface-to-Surface Missile
The RBS15 Mk3 represents the latest generation of advanced surface-to-surface missile (SSM) systems. It is a true fire and forget multi-purpose anti-ship/land attack, sea skimming, cruise type missile. The missile possesses a high hit probability due to a flexible, pre-launch programmable, active radar seeker. It has unique ECCM capabilities and an approach profile that maximizes the defence penetration potential by utilizing a stealthy approach with a sea-skimming terminal trajectory and evasive manoeuvres.
The RBS15F ER is the latest generation air-to-surface version in the RBS15 missile family. It can be launched from both fighter aircraft and reconnaissance aircraft. The RBS15 missile is designed to operate in the naval scenario, from blue water conditions to littoral warfare and in land attack missions. It can be launched from ship, land and airborne platforms making it suitable for a wide spectrum of threat scenarios. The long flight range and extremely flexible trajectory enables attacks from short distances to ranges well beyond the horizon. Attacks can also be mounted from different directions with pre-selected time of arrival for each missile as well as simultaneous arrival.
Each missile is contained in a canister, which serves as launcher as well as environmental protection throughout the missile’s life cycle - a round of ammunition concept. The RBS15 navigation system utilizes both GPS and an Inertial Measurement Unit allowing it to provide a high level of accuracy in all situations. The warhead is large and powerful, optimized for maximum damage to ships and with a pre-fragmented HE blast. The instantaneous or delayed initiation of the warhead is triggered by direct impact or a proximity sensor.
The state-of-the-art design of the RBS15 Mk3 results in high availability, reliability and maintainability and long maintenance intervals, thus the cost of ownership is very low during the system’s specified lifetime of 30 years.