|Four RBS15 Mk3 armed Gripen fighter Photo SAAB Copyright|
Sweden has signed a contract with SAAB for the development and production of a next generation version of the RBS15 anti-ship missile.
The SEK 3.2 billion ($360 million) contract covers development of both air-launched version to arm the latest SAAB Gripen E version fighters and the ship-launched version to arm Swedish Navy Visby class corvettes.
The new version will sport improved combat range, an upgraded target seeker and reduced weight compared to the present Mk3 version which have a 200-plus km range, active radar seeker and 800 kg weight with booster.
The all-weather fire and forget subsonic missile is powered by a rocket engine in the initial boost phase ( only for surface/ ship launched version), and a turbojet engine in the cruise phase. The missile uses INS and GPS for navigation and flies a sea skimming flight trajectory to evade enemy radars.
In the terminal phase, the missile will have increased thrust and can penetrate enemy counter measures with built in Electronic Counter Countermeasures (ECCM) system.
The missile’s large and lethal 200 kg blast and fragmentation warhead is triggered by delayed impact or proximity fuse function, causing a devastating impact on any target, including large naval vessels.
SAAB says the delivery could begin as early as 2017 and will extend till 2026.
The RBS15 Mk3 missile is jointly produced by Saab and German Diehl Defence GmbH & Co. KG.