The power to act - the power to win

AT DIMDEX 2016 we are showcasing our surface-to-surface missile system RBS15 Mk3 for the audience. We decided to ask some questions to Kristian Wallin at our Business Unit Missile Systems about the RBS15 Mk3 system and his thoughts about this year´s DIMDEX event.


Kristian, can you give us a short description about the latest RBS15 Mk3 missile system?

Our RBS15 is an all-weather and multi-platform anti-ship missile, capable of being fired from ships, trucks and aircraft. The latest version is the RBS15 Mk3 surface-to-surface missile, with both anti-ship and land attack capability. This missile offers market leading stand-off range and destructive capability together with robust and reliable all-weather operation. The missile provides the ability to strike at targets while staying out of range of retaliatory attacks and is advanced enough to penetrate even the most modern defensive systems, complete with jamming suites and anti-air weapons.

Our RBS15 Mk3 can be installed on a variety of surface platforms, including ships and trucks. On ships the RBS15 Mk3 allows for very flexible placement and has been installed on ships displacing as little as around 200 tons. With a very small on-board footprint and easy integration with any modern combat management system, RBS15 becomes ideally suited as the main anti-surface armament for modernization programs as well as new procurements. When installed on trucks the RBS15 Mk3 features an ISO-container compatible interface for easy loading and transportation using existing logistical infrastructure. This allows for lower maintenance and lower lifetime operational costs than competing systems. Regardless of your surface-platform, most of the constituent sub-systems will remain the same, allowing for additional savings on training, maintenance and repair.

How would you describe the market for surface-to-surface missile of today?

The market is quite promising at the moment. Many potential customers are currently operating legacy systems that are approaching the end of their operational lifetime, so it's only natural that they survey their options and consider the RBS15 as an alternative. Saab offers an option for those who don't want to compromise; a product with the best capabilities and features available on the market, at a competitive price, and with an unmatched openness for industrial cooperation and transfer of technology.

As a complete system house, Saab has a broad product portfolio, giving us an unparalleled ability to offer complete turn-key solutions. We build everything from ships and submarines with radars and torpedoes to missiles and aircrafts, complete with comprehensive training and logistical support packages. This gives us great advantages when developing our solutions of course. Our ability to consistently deliver reliability and value for money is greatly appreciated by our customers.

What makes the RBS15 Mk3 the ideal missile of choice for countries in the region?

As the missile was developed to help defend the small and neutral Sweden, with a strategic location and very close proximity to potential aggressors, it is very well suited to the Middle East and its surrounding environment.

RBS15 can be used in many conflict levels and in asymmetric engagements, but has been designed for the worst-case scenario of symmetric conflict against a powerful and capable adversary. Thus the system has to be operational at all times, whenever a potential attack may occur. In harsh weather with low visibility and in hostile electronic warfare environments where GPS and other support systems are unavailable. The missile is advanced enough to provide full operational capability despite these hardships and still deliver a punch with its large and powerful warhead.

The RBS15 Mk3 gives the user options and possibilities that competing systems cannot. It offers the ability to utilize a range of more than 200 km to attack enemies from multiple angles using multiple 3D waypoints. The range combined with unlimited over-land strike capability enables ships to project power deep inland and land-based systems to provide cover for smaller and less capable units on land and at sea. Multiple firing units and platforms can coordinate their attacks with a synchronized time on target, striking targets from multiple directions at the same time.

The robust and autonomous all-weather capability allows the missile to be used whenever circumstances demand it, day or night, rain or shine; the RBS15 Mk3 is always ready to serve. The ultra-low sea-skimming flight altitude is automatically adapted based on the wave height, thereby contributing to usability for long range engagements and increasing the defence penetration capability. The RBS15 Mk3 is ideally suited for rough climates, designed for operation around the globe in environments ranging from the frozen arctic to the hot and humid equator.

Robust operation means the missile will retain its operational effectiveness, in bad weather and despite hostile electronic counter-measures like jamming. While some competing products rely on GPS availability or data-links that can easily be jammed, the RBS15 Mk3 can benefit from those systems without being dependent on them – a crucial difference in hostile environments.

Throughout the years Saab's products have helped protect citizens and defend sovereignty for customers around the globe, and we believe the RBS15 Mk3 can do the same for countries in this region.

Can you tell us something about the future of the system? What do you see will be the most important capability for a missile system to have if we look 10 years ahead of now?

Saab will continue to ensure our systems meet the challenges of the battlespace of tomorrow. The broad competence afforded by Saab as a system house allows the company to pursue novel advances in a wide array of disciplines including materials, electronics, and software. That expertise allows us to continuously develop solutions that can be offered as future enhancements to the RBS15. We offer regularly scheduled opportunities for upgrades and improvements throughout the missile's operational lifetime, ensuring the product has the necessary functionality to adapt to changing threats.

Looking into the future, we predict many technological advances but no real disruptive changes in the near term. The cat and mouse game continues but the major challenges remain largely the same. I would say that increased range and electronic defence capability will be important along with increased system autonomy and ease of use. It's difficult to know exactly what's around the corner, all you can know is that things will change and you have to be able to adapt. So we plan for that change by being modular and flexible.

Thank you Kristian for your time!


If you are visiting this year's DIMDEX exhibition, please come by hall #4 and stand #307 and talk more to Kristian about the world leading RBS15 Mk3 missile system.