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RBS 70 portable surface to air missile system

Saab Bofors Dynamics

posted by Robert Schlesinger

RBS 70 (Robotsystem 70) is man-portable air defence system. It entered service in 1977 as the first laser guided defence missile system in the world and now it is used by many countries over the world in all climate zones; for example Australia, Argentina, Brazil, United Arab Emirates, Iran, Ireland, Norway, Pakistan, Sweden, Czech Republic and others

This system was initially developed for the Swedish Armed Forces as a complete missile system with the potential for being integrated with most wheeled and tracked vehicles.

The 4th generation system incorporates the BOLIDE all-target missile, BORC clip-on thermal imager, a digital IFF Interrogator, a PC-based training simulator and an external power supply for training. This generation has non-cooled laser transmitter minimising reaction times and logistic support. Enemy aircraft can be engaged within 30 seconds.

System configuration

In its basic configuration, the RBS 70 comprises a tripod stand, optical sight and missile in launch container. Three men are required to transport it, while just one man is required to operate it.

In vehicle applications, the RBS 70 VLM (Vehicle Launched Missile) can easily be dismounted and used independently.
Several fire units can be connected to surveillance radar to form an anti-aircraft battery. If the RBS 70 is not interfaced with surveillance radar, it can operate autonomously.

With the BORC clip-on thermal imager, the RBS 70 has a 24 hours capability.
Complete fire unit consisting of the weapon itself, Night Sight and a Weapon Terminal is self-sufficient and requires only batteries as power supply. It means no logistic support is required.

Bolide missile

The BOLIDE missile uses a unique unjammable laser beam riding guidance, providing incomparable accuracy. BOLIDE has an intercept range of 8000 m and altitude coverage in excess of 5000 m.
A high capability against small targets such as cruise missiles and UAVs is provided by a unique adaptive proximity fuze function, optimising the initiation point of the warhead . The missile’s combined warhead, with both fragmentation and shaped charge effect, provides a high kill probability against any aerial threat. Targets down to ground level can effectively be combated. The laser-operated proximity fuze, which can be disconnected, is unjammable like the guidance system.

Proximity fuse operates in three modes:

When the missile is fired, the solid propellant booster motor is ignited inside the launch tube and the missile is accelerated out of the tube. When the missile leaves the tube the control surfaces and the four fins are opened. After the missile has travelled a safe distance from the launch position the sustainer motor ignites.

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Laser beam riding guidance

The RBS 70 has laser beam riding guidance, riding a laser signal being beamed from its own launch station.

Target can be located visually by the missile operator or the target can be detected by a search radar. When the target is acquired, the operator tracks the target and the Raytheon Cossor IFF880 friend or foe system interrogates the target. If a friendly target is indicated a warning light in the sight is illuminated and the firing sequence is halted.

The operator aims the missile towards the target, fires and tracks the target, aiming a laser guidance beam continuously at the target until the moment of impact.

The RBS 70 missile has a laser beam detector mounted at the back of the missile which detects the laser guidance beam. The outputs from the laser beam detectors in the tail of the missile are used by an onboard processor to generate the steering and course correction signals to the missile control fins. The missile's flight is gyroscopically stabilised.

The missile has no seeker head at the front of the missile and the laser beam riding system in the tail of the missile is extremely difficult to jam. If the missile loses the laser beam or if no guidance signals are received after a predetermined period of time during missile flight the missile switches to self-destruct mode.

Simulator training

Missile operator has the ability to engage difficult targets after just a few hours of training. The simulator has a large number of pre-programmed target scenarios and the instructor can create any training situation with various kinds of targets. A thorough evaluation, presentation and saving of the result, as well as a visualisation of the effect in a target, provides an effective motivation and training. Any tactical situation can be trained.

In order to evaluate live firing RBS 70 Video Recorder Attachment is available.

Technical data

Guidance method Laser beam riding missile
Effective range 250 to 8000 m
Height coverage Ground to more than 5000 m
Deployment time 30 sec
Reloading time Less than 7 sec
Propulsion Booster and sustainer motor with low-smoke propellant
Launch velocity 50 m/s
Max velocity (BOLIDE) Mach 2
Fuze Adaptive proximity fuze function with 3 selectable modes (Off, Normal, Small target)
Warhead Combined warhead effect from over 3000 tungsten spheres and a shaped charge
Kill probability More than 90% in head-on sector
IFF Mode 3 and 4 (Mk XXII STANAG 4193), prepared for Mode 5
Combat control Assignment from radar/command post to gunners headset via weapon terminal
Night Sight Thermal imager, 320x240 QWIP detectors FPA, 8-12 m wave length; DC/DC adapter for vehicle power input



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