Naval Weapons

Sweden reactivates RBS15-based mobile coastal defence systems

30 December 2016
An RBS15 Mk 2 anti-ship missile being fired from a Scania 3 series 8 x 6 mobile coastal defence platform during trials on the Baltic Coast in early 2016 Source: Swedish Defence Material Administration

Key Points

  • System reconstituted to RBS15 Mk 2 standard
  • First firing trials of a land-based RBS15 Mk 2missile conducted in the Baltic Sea in early 2016.

The Swedish Armed Forces has reactivated a land-based mobile RBS15 coastal defence capability on the Baltic coast, some 16 years after it was decommissioned due to budget cuts.

Rear Admiral Thomas Engevall, Chief of Defence Logistics within the Swedish Armed Forces and responsible for materiel acquisition from Sweden's Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) told IHS Jane's that the armed forces issued a 'challenge' to Saab Dynamics in early 2015 to determine the feasibility of reactivating and reconstituting the original RBS15M3-based coastal defence system capability to an operationally acceptable-standard within a one-year timeframe.

"Saab was challenged in the springtime of 2015 to look into whether this could be achieved or not. FMV awarded the contract - and a year later we fired. So from challenge to shooting it took a year, but a contract was signed a bit later than the issue of the challenge - so actually the contract time was a bit shorter than a year," Engevall said.

The spur for this initiative, said Engevall, was a high-priority directive from the government to significantly increase operational capability across the entire Swedish Armed Forces by 2020. While the re-activation of the RBS15 mobile coastal systems for the Swedish Navy was not directly specified in the directive, it was clearly 'in the spirit' of the given task. "That directive was issued by the government, and all our efforts are now going into this. So, essentially we have reacted to the political will - but we have also demonstrated that we are able to do things like this."

Stefan Öberg, Vice-President, Saab Dynamics, Head of Missiles Business Unit, told IHS Jane's that the regenerated RBS15 capability was achieved in close cooperation with both the FMV and the armed forces.

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