Air Defense: Old Reliable Updated Again


December 31, 2015: In late 2015 the Swedish Army began receiving the new RBS-70 NG antiaircraft systems. Each system consists of a tripod mounted launcher and fire control system and a variable number of missile reloads. A loaded RBS-70 weighs 87 kg (191 pounds). The missile has a range of 7,000 meters and a max altitude of 5,000 meters. The latest version of the missile has a range of 8,000 meters but the older versions remain in service. The warhead weighs 1.1 kg (39 ounces) and has a proximity fuze that can be turned off so that the missile has to hit the target, not just come close.

Unlike most small anti-aircraft missiles RBS-70 is not a heat seeker but is directed to the target via a laser guidance which means the operator has to keep a laser aimed at the target until the missile hits. Because of this the RBS-70 cannot be jammed or confused as can heat seeking or radar guided missiles. The missile moves at about a kilometer every three seconds. The NG version has a much improved fire control system including a thermal (heat) sight and an easier to use (and learn) interface for the gunner.

RBS-70 was introduced in 1977 and has been continually improved. It has been exported to 19 countries and is highly valued for its effectiveness, reliability and ease-of-use.


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