Saab’s RBS 70 NG VSHORAD System: An Edge on the Battlefield

Saab’s new accurate, reliable and flexible RBS 70 NG Very Short Range Air Defence Missile (VSHORAD) System, based on the proven RBS 70 system, is a missile system with 24/7 all-target capability, developed for any combat situation.

The new generation (NG) has a sight with integrated Thermal Imager, enhanced gunner aids, high precision, unbeatable range and unjammable laser guidance that combine to produce a Ground-Based Air Defence (GBAD) System with world-leading capabilities.

The RBS 70 NG is on offer to the Royal Thai Air Force and the Royal Thai Army to fill a crucial need gap. The all-new RBS 70 NG system is a versatile battlefield game changer and will offer critical edge in the spectrum of deployment.

Says Åke Söderlindh, Director Marketing and Sales, Saab Asia Pacific, “Saab is offering the RBS 70 NG Ground Based Air Defence missile system both as a future upgrade to existing RBS 70 systems within Royal Thai Air Force, as well as a new multi-mission system for the Royal Thai Army suitable for vehicle integration on various types of vehicles, both wheeled and tracked. With its new concept and state-of-the-art technology, the RBS 70 NG provides a highly flexible and long term solution to evolving Ground Based Air Defence requirements. Furthermore Saab´s systems are always prepared for larger integrations.”

The earlier generation of RBS 70 being used by the Royal Thai Air Force has shown that the system and missiles provide high availability, reliability and limited maintenance needs, which together provides a unique low life cycle cost. The RBS 70 NG´s capability to be used for a multitude of missions makes it very usable for all types of situations. Along with that, high availability, reliability, maintenance free missiles and an operational life exceeding 30 years create a low life cycle cost, in keeping with requirements of Thailand's Armed Forces.

The RBS 70 NG System’s unique capability to operate within urban environments unaffected by any interference provides an invaluable resource for event protection e.g. during APEC meetings. This capability has already been used by several customers with the earlier generations of the RBS 70 system.

The system’s automatic detection and tracking capabilities, both day and night, meet and exceed the requirements of the Thai Armed Forces. Saab’s all new RBS 70 NG firing unit developed for any combat situation is a versatile battlefield game changer that will provide a critical edge in the spectrum of GBAD. With the latest generation of missile – the BOLIDE – the RBS 70 NG in a unique way encompasses the complete air threat spectrum, from fixed and rotary wing aircraft to small targets such as cruise missiles and UAVs. With its shaped charge, armoured targets like helicopters and APCs can also be defeated.

The combination of Saab’s multi-mission 3D GIRAFFE 1X AESA radar detection capability and Saab’s experience in developing complete GBAD systems, including optimised C3I solutions, will provide a VSHORAD system with a unique rapid overall reaction time. Initial reaction time for the RBS 70 NG firing unit has been minimised by the use of an accurate visual 2D or 3D cueing for the operator. Missile reloading is performed in less than 5 seconds as well.

Flexibility of design allows RBS 70 NG to be used for several tasks during the same mission. The man portable firing unit enables timely 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.

Aircraft and helicopters of today often have missile warning systems and countermeasures. As soon as a target gets a warning that it is engaged by an AD missile it will start to manoeuver, use flares or other countermeasures. A fighter aircraft will manoeuver as much as possible, when engaged by an AD missile. A modern jet aircraft can manoeuver as much as 9-10g. Many missiles in the VSHORAD category use an Infrared Homing guidance system which has several disadvantages. Missiles can be defeated by counter-measures such as flares, and can encounter difficulty locking on to targets that are distorted by external heat sources such as the sun or burning items on the battlefield.

The RBS 70 NG utilising state-of-the-art components and technology is unaffected by counter-measures, heat sources and clutter, providing a highly versatile air defence system. The RBS 70 NG missile 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 or other heat sources, 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 interception range up to 10 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, including tropical, desert and arctic conditions.

With more than 1,600 RBS 70 launch & guidance units and more than 17,000 missiles sold, the RBS 70 is sold to 19 nations worldwide. The user’s experience with RBS 70 is that it is “easy to use, quick to reload and fast to deploy” – capabilities further enhanced with the RBS 70 NG. Although battlefield requirements constantly evolve, close cooperation with potential and existing RBS 70 customers combined with Saab’s technical expertise and innovation will ensure that the RBS 70 NG VSHORAD System will always stay ahead of the threats of tomorrow.