Eyes Are Set On The Future With RBS15 Mk3


Towards the end of the 1960s, anti-ship missiles significantly enhanced the ability of smaller vessels to combat larger vessels at a longer range and with greater effect. Anti-ship missile systems underwent a paradigm shift during this time until the end of the 1980s, with rapid technological development and broader utilisation of weapons systems. This period also saw an abundance of missiles launched in conflicts such as the Falklands War and in the Persian Gulf.

In 1979, Saab began to develop and manufacture an anti-ship missile system, later dubbed RBS15, after an order from FMV. Development of the system progressed at a steady pace and within 10 years it was ready for integration in naval, land and air platforms. The latest version of the system, RBS15 Mk3, is a world-leader in the market and is employed by several armed forces across the globe.

“The system is tailored to provide military units with maximum capability and accomplishes this well by virtue of its very long range, large warhead, and intelligent and robust capabilities able to cope with all weather conditions. This means the system can be installed aboard relatively small vessels and on trucks, and the airborne version of RBS15 can be carried by the Gripen fighter," says Jan Widerström, Chairman and Managing Director, Saab India Technologies.

Continuous Development of the RBS15 Family

At present, RBS15 Mk3 is fully developed and in operational service with several customers. With a range beyond 200 km, the capacity to attack land targets and vessels in port, as well as a wealth of other improved and expanded functions, the system has evolved considerably. Its performance outshines anything the older generation was able to offer by an appreciable margin.  

"The ability to eliminate land targets with pinpoint precision provides naval platforms with new opportunities to launch effective assaults far into land and, combined with the long range, means that very few units are able to cover a larger area," says Widerström. "This is a brand-new generation of missiles, and the immense difference from earlier iterations is analogous to the comparison of computer systems from 20 years ago. RBS15 Mk3 is designed in a way that allows new capabilities to be readily added during future upgrades in order to safeguard a continued ability to counter future threats."

The technological development taking place at Saab within the field of missile technology is resulting in a multitude of new capabilities which can be utilised by future clients and customers. Saab has also laboured intensively in developing the next generation of coastal defence missile systems, something in which many nations have shown considerable interest. Today, Saab invests heavily in areas such as innovative materials, algorithms, and signal processing - to name a few.

“Our RBS15 missile system has proven potential to meet the existing and future requirements of all branches within the Indian Armed Forces. Saab sees the RBS15 Mk3 as an excellent complement to already existing Brahmos systems, in such a way that it will provide enhanced flexibility at a much lower life-cycle cost,” concludes Widerström.