The RBS 70 laser-guided missile launcher has been in service with the Australian Army since 1987, and recently Saab has redesigned the sight to install new autonomous tracking systems, freeing the operator from the burden of manual tracking, and renaming the system as the RBS 70 New Generation (NG).
Aside from the autonomous tracking, one of the key upgrades to the new system is in size and weight reduction. The BOLIDE missiles and launcher -stand remain at a similar weight, but the built-in thermal imagery in the new sight means it weighs only 24kg – compared with 36kg for the previous model, not including a clip-on night device weighing 15kg. “That’s more or less 50kg that had to be carried in two pieces,” Emil Holm, Technical Sales Support for RBS 70 NG at Saab said. “This is just one and it’s only 24kg; half the weight and half the burden, which means it’s even more manoeuvrable.”
In terms of extra manoeuvrability, Saab is also in the process of integrating the RBS 70 NG onto a Protected Mobility vehicle, such as the Thales HAWKEI PMV for the Australian Army. “Currently, this system is under development,” Holm admitted. “By next year we’re going to have the first fireable prototype.”
Dubbed the RBS 70 NG RWS, the concept will integrate the launcher on a Saab-developed TRACKFIRE Remote Weapon Station (RWS), which is a gyro-stabilised platform designed to accommodate heavy or regular machine guns, on the rear of a vehicle. The concept is consistent with the need to design a close-range missile system capable of keeping up with a rapidly manoeuvring force – an essential requirement for LAND 19 Phase 7B.
“This incremental upgrade to the RBS 70 NG configuration offers a step-change in capability that will defeat current and emerging air and missile threats. When integrated onto a vehicle such as the Hawkei, the RBS-70 NG will provide a highly mobile and flexible system that is able to be operated from the cover of the vehicle cabin, remotely from the vehicle, or in the man-portable configuration for deployment into complex areas such as roof tops by foot or helicopter. It is a mature system that is low risk and makes best use of the Australian Army’s existing Bolide Missile inventory. The RBS-70 NG’s state of the art sight enables 3-Dimensional Cueing information to be received directly by the operator from sensors such as the GIRAFFE-AMB or GIRAFFE 1X. Through many years of experience as a global GBAD supplier, Saab understands that an organic VSHORAD capability is a vital layer to complement longer range sensor and effector systems,” said Mathew Jones, Director Marketing and Sales Land, at Saabs Market Area Asia Pacific.