Featuring a new sighting system for improved precision and increased all-target capability, on 6 September 2011 at Karlskoga in Sweden, the RBS 70 NG was first test fired before representatives of 17 countries and five targets were taken out – three in the daytime and two at night time, with three direct hits and two proximity hits.
Targets included a dummy missile placed on a vertical platform around 4.5km away and an aircraft-towed aerial target flying at a height of 500m meters, tracked from a distance of 6km and requiring an elevation of around 30 degrees. This aerial target had a vertical height of around two feet. Such targets typically have a Hot Spot, which raises the temperature of the target by a few degrees above the surrounding air. The test-target had no Hot Spot, though.
With the latest generation of missile - the BOLIDE - the RBS 70 NG is directed at the complete air and ground threat spectrum, including long range and close to ground. Everything from fixed and rotary wing aircraft and helicopters down to small targets such as cruise missiles, UAVs and armoured ground targets like APCs can be engaged, according to the company.
The operator line of sight-guided RBS 70 NG differs from systems guided by IR Homing, making it non-susceptible to deception by counter-measures dispensed by target aircraft (chaff or flares). The RBS 70 NG is a beam-rider, steered by a user-operated laser beam, and cannot be deceived and diverted by such counter-measures. A comparable system is the Thales STARSTREAK, being laser-guided as well.
The system includes FLIR Systems’ integrated thermal imager and night sight capability, 3D target designation, automatic target detection. The auto-tracker aids the missile operator during engagement, allowing him/her to visually cue the target on the monitor. In case the operator changes his mind and wishes to abort the hit, he simply has to take away the tracker and self-destruct the missile.
The operator also has option of selecting the part of the aircraft to be targeted. This gives the operator the choice to merely scare off or disable an aircraft, if he chooses not to bring it down completely.
The RBS 70 NG has an effective intercept range of 8km, with altitude coverage in excess of 5,000m and is lighter than its predecessor, thereby making it easier to transport. It is capable of operating in complex environments such as urban terrain and is well equipped for all environments, including tropical, desert and arctic conditions.
With more than 1,600 systems and more than 17,000 missiles sold, the RBS 70 has been procured by 18 nations world wide.
Saab has offered the RBS 70 NG for the Indian tri-service tender for VSHORAD systems, a tender for an initial order estimated to be worth INR 27,000 crore for over 800 launchers and over 5,000 missiles.