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RBS 70
RBS 70 training simulator
Type Short-range Air Defense (SHORAD)
Man-portable air-defence system (MANPAD)
Place of origin  Sweden
Service history
In service 1977- present
Production history
Manufacturer Bofors Defence (1980s-2000)
Saab Bofors Dynamics (since 2000)
Weight 87 kg (Stand + Sight + Missile)
Length 1.32 m
Diameter 106 mm

Warhead 1.1 kg Combined with 3,000 tungsten spheres and shaped charge
Adaptive proximity fuze function with 3 selectable modes (Off, Normal, Small target)

Engine Booster and sustainer with smokeless solid propellant
Wingspan 32 cm
250 m–8 km
Flight altitude 5,000 m
Speed Mach 1.6 (Mark 0/1)
Mach 2 (5 km in 12 seconds) (Mark 2/BOLIDE)
Laser beam riding missile
tripod, weapon platform (ASRAD-R) and warship

RBS 70 (Robotsystem 70, "robot" meaning "missile" in this context in Swedish) is a man-portable air-defense system (MANPADS) designed for anti-aircraft warfare in all climate zones and with little to no support from other forces. Originally designed and manufactured by the Swedish defence firm of Bofors Defence (now Saab Bofors Dynamics, since 2000). It uses the RB 70 missile which is also in use in a number of other Swedish missile systems.


The RBS 70 was developed to supply the Swedish air defense with a low-cost, easy-to-use and effective short-range SAM system. Before RBS 70 the mainstay of Swedish air defense was American HAWK systems (RBS 77 and RBS 97 "Swedish HAWK"), American Redeye (RBS 69) and the Swedish Bofors m/48 AAA. The main reason for choosing to base air defense around a short-range, low-cost system is that at the time the doctrine of the Swedish Army was to fight a war where mobility and low maintenance are of great importance.

The Swedish Army has decided to replace the RBS 70 with a ground-launched version of the IRIS-T missile.[1]


RBS-70 and operator in Australian service, 2011.

The RBS 70 is a Short-range Air Defense (SHORAD) laser guided missile system. The operator receives instructions on the position of the target from a local SLT (combat-control terminal) which is about the size of a laptop. The SLT in turn receives information through an encoded radio broadcast made by either a radar station (PS 90, PS 70) or some other information gathering source. When the target has been acquired by the operator he turns off the safety, which switches on the main laser and sends out an IFF signal and if positive makes firing impossible. If the operator is confident that he has a good track he fires. The missile then flies in the beam of the laser from the sight, adjusting its position constantly to stay within the beam. This puts a lot of pressure on the operator who needs to have a very steady aim. If the missile is guided to within 30 meters of the target a kill is 95% assured.

The exhaust is vented in the missile's midsection and the laser beam riding system is fitted in the tail, where it is extremely difficult to jam.

RBS 70 has been constantly updated and improved, the first versions (Mk 0) had a short range and limited kill capabilities but this was much improved in later versions. Mk 1 and Mk 2 followed shortly and are the standard RBS 70 with a range of 5,000–6,000 m and a ceiling of 3,000 m. Currently, RBS 70 is operational in 18 customer countries, on all continents and in arctic, desert, and tropical environments.

In 2003 the "BOLIDE" upgrade system was introduced to the RBS 70.[2] The BOLIDE missile is an RBS 70 Mk 2 upgrade that is faster (Mach 2 vs Mach 1.6), with a range up to 8 km (5.0 mi) and can reach an altitude of 5 km. The BOLIDE has also a new warhead, which is a shaped charge with a pre-fragmented jacket, the adaptable proximity fuze gives it full effectiveness against a wider variety of targets, and new reprogrammable electronics gives it the possibility to engage attack cruise missiles and UAVs. Deliveries were initiated in 2005.

Latest upgrade

In 2011, Saab Bofors Dynamics (successor company of Bofors Defence) announced the introduction of the new RBS 70 New Generation (RBS 70 NG). The upgraded version included an improved sighting system capable of night vision and improved training and after-action review features.[3]

Operational Use

In 1992, a Venezuelan Army RBS-70 SAM is attributed with having shot down a rebel OV-10 Bronco during the 1992 Venezuelan coup d'état attempt on November 27.[4]


See also


  1. More Air Launched Missiles Go To Ground -, January 26, 2013
  2. "RBS 70 NG VSHORAD: BACKGROUND: INNOVATION IT'S IN OUR BLOOD". Saab Bofors Dynamics. 2010. Retrieved 28 September 2011. 
  3. "RBS 70 NG VSHORAD: NEW GENERATION". Saab Bofors Dynamics. 2010. Retrieved 28 September 2011. 
  4. "Chronological Listing of Venezuelan Losses & Ejections". Project Get Out and Walk. 
  5. The World Defence Almanac 1996-97 page 38 ISSN 0722-3226
  6. "Register of the transfers of major conventional weapons from Sweden 1995-2005". Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). 
  7. Saab sells air defence to Finland worth 600 million SEK, 2007-01-18 11:07
  8. "Giddy over air-defense system". Baltic News Service. November 17, 2004. 
  9. Hussain, Maryam (June 2, 2006). "Deal signed with Bofors for missile repair". Archived from the original on June 15, 2013. Retrieved May 26, 2013. 

External links

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