Five Things You Didn’t Know about RBS15

How well do you really know the world’s leading anti-ship missile?

The RBS15’s booster rockets generate enough thrust to lift an African elephant into the air.

The RBS15 has two side-mounted booster rockets filled with solid propellants that fire for three seconds when it is launched. These produce an enormous amount of power that is released in a very controlled manner. The generated thrust can lift about eight tons into the air - enough to easily lift the largest African elephant.

The RBS15 accelerates six times faster than a Ferrari.

The missile accelerates from zero to 60+ miles/hour in about half a second – about six times faster than the 2.9 seconds it takes a Ferrari 488 to do the same. You need a high-speed camera to see exactly what’s going on, as the launch is too fast for the naked eye. This massive acceleration serves an important purpose: it pushes air into the turbine to start the turbo jet engine, which then takes over and propels the missile.

The RBS15 can travel over 125 miles before engaging the enemy

The missile flies as close as possible to the surface of the sea on its way to the target. At Saab, we call this "sea skimming." and the RBS15 is typically less than 15 feet above the waves. Once it arrives at the target area, it will search, find and destroy the designated target. Even the fastest of ships can’t escape this missile.


The RBS15 Mk3 is the result of 70 years of development.

Our expertise in anti-ship missiles is due in part to our longevity in the field. We began the first trials with anti-ship missiles in the aftermath of the World War II in 1946, and Sweden was actually the second country in the world to operate anti-ship missiles. While these weren't earlier versions of the RBS15, it shows our heritage in the area and our experience with producing both manned and unmanned flying objects.

The RBS15 is capable of astounding precision.

One of the RBS15’s most advanced subsystems is its active radar target seekers which, unlike infra-red seekers, are not affected by adverse weather conditions. They also provide the missile with startling accuracy. During one test firing, an RBS15 missile managed to go right through the center of a tire that was positioned on a target. This exemplifies the pinpoint precision that is possible under the right conditions.