The Next Generation Of Ground Based Air Defence With RBS 70 NG And Giraffe 1X

The backbone of Indonesia’s air defence since the 1980s has been Saab’s RBS 70 Mk 1 and Mk 2 and the Giraffe 40 system as the sensor. With more than 1,600 missile systems and more than 17,000 missiles sold, the RBS 70 air defence missile system has been deployed effectively by more than 20 users. The system´s unique capabilities, reliability and very low life-cycle cost has been appreciated by demanding users from Army, Air Force and Navy/Marines and is today operational on all continents in the most exacting environmental conditions, such as deserts, tropics and the Arctic.

Saab’s new GBAD system within the VSHORAD class has 24/7 all-target capability and has been developed for the most demanding combat situations. Its integrated sighting solution, enhanced operator aids, unbeatable range for both missile and radar, unjammable laser guidance creates a system with world-leading capabilities. The RBS 70 NG is unaffected by countermeasures, heat sources and clutter.

Partnering With PT Pindad for Superior GBAD

Today, Saab is ready to partner with Indonesia in its future ground based air defence requirements, and to help build a new domestic industrial capability here. Saab has signed a teaming agreement with PT Pindad to market GBAD systems and extend the operational life of the Indonesian Armed Force’s (TNI) existing RBS 70 and Giraffe 40 systems. This teaming agreement signals our clear, long-term ambition to win and deliver more business in the air defence sector, both in Indonesia and elsewhere in the region.

The collaboration will be extended in a well-defined, step-by-step programme. The initial focus has been on increasing the operational life of the RBS 70 Mk 2 missiles. The teaming agreement delivers transfer of technology from Saab to upgrade the RBS 70 systems acquired by Indonesia in the 1980s. This process has helped to build industrial capacity and capability at PT Pindad, and in Indonesia more widely.

According to Lars Nielsen, Deputy Head of Saab Indonesia, "In the life time extension project for the RBS 70 Mk 2, at least five or six components of the missile have to be replaced. Overall, the complete mid-life test programme has more than 100 check points, so this is a pretty comprehensive exercise."

Through its teaming agreement with PT Pindad, Saab can not only provide a full GBAD system with the latest technology, it can meet local content, domestic cooperation and transfer of technology requirements for both radar and missile systems. These can then cater to additional domestic and global markets.

“The teaming agreement has been useful in enabling collaboration to start working at the practical level. Together, we are focussed on winning the next major GBAD procurement,” says Dan Enstedt, President and CEO, Saab Asia Pacific.

GBAD for Indonesia

The proposed GBAD solution for Indonesia consists of the missile system RBS 70 NG and the sensor system Giraffe 1X as well as command & control systems. The core of the RBS 70 NG is the new generation sight module. Its integrated thermal imager provides true 24/7 performance. Three-dimensional target designation and automatic target detection improves the reaction times, while the auto-tracker aids the operator during engagement, increasing hit probability throughout the missile range.

With its modular concept and state-of-the-art technology the RBS 70 NG provides a highly flexible, scalable and long term solution to evolving GBAD requirements.

The NG sight has been specifically designed for a high degree of flexibility and modularity: in addition to the man-portable air defence system (MANPADS) configuration, the same NG sight unit can be used in remote-controlled or vehicle applications.  The modular design of the NG sight allows for integration into an almost unlimited number of vehicle types and for network integration as well as remote control.

The RBS 70 NG’s modular design allows it to reuse all existing generations of RBS 70 missiles up to the new BOLIDE fourth generation all-target VSHORAD missile.  With the BOLIDE missile the RBS 70 NG aims at the complete threat spectrum from fixed and rotary wing aircraft down to small targets such as cruise missiles and UAVs. The combined shaped-charge and pre-fragmented warhead makes the system uniquely capable of defeating armoured air targets such as attack helicopters and CAS aircraft as well as armoured ground targets like APCs.

The modularity of the RBS 70 NG system allows it to be used both as MANPADS and in a vehicle integrated configuration to support manoeuvring troops, protection of strategic assets and high-profile events in around-the-clock operations. 

The man portable firing unit enables deployment from a chosen location or vehicle platform ensuring comprehensive air defence cover by strategic assets or manoeuvring troops. In addition the modular RBS 70 NG sighting system is also designed to be remotely controlled from a high mobility vehicle or ship integrated applications. Long-term static defence of strategic assets can also be achieved through development of a standalone remotely controlled configuration.

Utilising state-of-the art components and technology, the RBS 70 NG provides a highly versatile air defence system. The RBS 70 NG is able to counter highly manoeuvrable jinking targets, which is a clear advantage compared to any other VSHORAD missile system.

The RBS 70 NG is totally unaffected by countermeasures such as flares, other heat sources or clutter, and furthermore the operator is always in the loop, i.e. the operator can always use the manual controls to change aim-point, support the auto-tracker or even change target after missile launch.

The RBS 70 NG has an effective intercept range reaching more than 8 km, with altitude coverage in excess of 5,000 m, making it a best-in-class VSHORAD missile system. It is capable of operating on complex combat fields such as urban environments and is well equipped for all climates.

The combination of Saab’s multi-mission Giraffe 1X AESA radar detection capability and Saab’s experience developing complete GBAD systems, including optimised C3I solutions, provides a VSHORAD system with a unique rapid overall reaction time.

Initial reaction time for the RBS 70 NG firing unit has been minimised by accurate visual 2D or 3D cueing for the operator. A key element of the RBS 70 NG are the automatic functions that makes it easy to deploy and operate, and equally easy to train with.

The compact design concept makes Giraffe 1X the perfect choice when continuous air surveillance is desired. It provides swift understanding of the air situation, enabling immediate and effective response to changing threats, new tactics and shifting operational conditions. The system monitors for air targets through a 360-degree sector while simultaneously also locating and warning against incoming rocket, artillery and mortar rounds. This is a life-saving capability in low intensity and short range engagements.

According to Head of Saab Indonesia, Peter Carlqvist, “The GBAD system with RBS 70 NG and Giraffe 1X is the logical next step for the Indonesian armed forces which have deployed the earlier generations and understand the capabilities of the system well. With the focus on building local capability in partnership with PT Pindad, the GBAD system can keep Indonesia’s airspace secure for the next 30 or 40 years.”

At Indo Defence, both the RBS 70 NG simulator, BOLIDE missile and the Giraffe 1X radar will be displayed on PT Pindad’s indoor and outdoor exhibition areas.