Infobox Weapon

caption=RBS-15 on right
origin= Sweden
type=Fire and forget
anti-ship and land attack
used_by= See "operators"
manufacturer=Saab Bofors Dynamics, Diehl BGT Defence
service=1985- present
weight=800 kg
length=4.33 m
diameter=50 cm
wingspan=1.4 m
vehicle_range=200 km
altitude=sea skimming
filling=200 kg HE blast and pre-fragmented
guidance=inertial, GPS, active radar (J band)
detonation=impact or proximity
launch_platform=naval ships, aircraft and land-based missile launchers
The RBS-15 (Robotsystem 15) is a long-range fire-and-forget surface-to-surface and air-to-surface, anti-ship missile. The later version Mk. III has the ability to attack land targets as well. The missile was developed by the Swedish company Saab Bofors Dynamics.


The history of the missile can be traced back to the Swedish missile RB 08 from the mid-1960s (which in turn had been developed from the FrenchCT-20 target drone). The RB 08 was an anti-ship missile, which functioned basically in the same way as the RBS 15. Both missiles are guided by an autopilot midcourse guidance and a monopulse J-band radar. The engine is a liquid propellant sustainer.

Development of the RBS 15 began in the late 1970s under the name KSA. The first weapon contract was signed in 1979, at the last minute the Swedish government had opted not to buy the Harpoon anti ship missile and instead develop an indigenous design. The development took six years, and the ship version RBS-15 Mk. I was introduced. The missile had been ordered in 1984 by the Swedish Navy to develop a coastal defense version of the RBS-15F. The missile was taken into Swedish Navy service as the Rb 15 by the Swedish Navy and became operational in 1985. The Swedish Air Force received their missiles a couple of years later. The Mk. I was produced from 1985 to 1990.

Work on a further developed version, the RBS-15 Mk. II, was initiated in the early 1980s. But it took until 1994, before a development contract was signed for the upgraded anti-ship missile. The Mk. II has the same range (70+ km), but the midcourse and terminal guidance system, as well as the radar and IR signature were upgraded. The Mk. II has been produced since 1998.

The development of the RBS-15 Mk. III began in the mid-1990s. Emphasis was put on increased range (due to larger fuel capacity and new fuel the range has been increased to some 200 km), improved accuracy (integrated GPS) and selectable priority targeting, which improved the weapon system's flexibility. The Mk. III missile will also be produced by Diehl BGT Defence of Germany for the new class of German stealth corvettes, and is likely to be later used on other German Navy vessels as well. Finnish car maker Sisu produces missile launch cars for RBS-15. The Mk. III has been in production since 2004.

Development phase

The missile was developed from the RB 04 missile that was used by the Swedish air force. The front of the missile was retained, including the warhead, but the rear received new wings and a turbofan engine replaced the rocket previously used. The RBS-15 underwent trials on the missile FAC HMS Piteå from 1983 and became operational with the Swedish navy in 1985. The Västergötland class submarines were projected to have 4 vertical missile launch tubes for RBS-15 missiles in an extended hull but this was canceled due to budget constraints and it didn't fit the way Swedish submarines operated.

Predecessor versions

;RB-04: While interest in guided anti-ship missiles was subdued in the 1950s, it was not entirely extinct. In 1949, the Swedish government placed a request for a radar-guided, air-launched anti-ship missile. The request materialized as the SAAB "Robot-Byran (RB) 04", which was first test launched by a Saab 29 Tunnan fighter in early 1955.:*RB-04C: The initial production version, the "RB-04C", entered service with Swedish Air Force A 32A Lansen attack fighters in 1959. The RB-04C had a canard configuration, with short triangular cruciform fins around the nose, and two wide wings with fins attached to the wingtips. The RB-04C had a boost-sustain solid rocket motor and a SAP warhead that could be fitted with a contact or proximity fuse.:*RB-04D: Further development of the C version. Introduced in the late 1960s.:*RB-04E: Further development of the D version to suit the new AJ37 Viggen strike aircraft. The missile had a shorter wingspan and an improved guidance system, which allowed sea skimming approaches.


;RBS-15 Mk. I: Powered by a French Microturbo TRI-60 engine, with a thrust of 3.73 kN (380 khp/830 lbf). Range 70+ km;RBS-15F: An Mk. I adapted for air launch. Entered service in 1989.;RBS-15 Mk. II: Range 70+ km. Designed to be launched from a number of different platforms, such as land-based launchers, aircraft, and ships.;RBS-15SF: Mk. II version for Finland. Local designation MtO 85 ("Meritorjuntaohjus 1985");RBS-15 Mk. III: Range 200 km, with land attack capability. There is only a ship launched version. Production started in 2004.;RBS-15SF-3: Both new Mk. IIIs and upgraded Mk. IIs, which have been upgrated to Mk. III standard. Finnish designation MtO 85M;RBS-15 Mk. IV: Currently being developed. Incorporates dual seekers, has a longer range and new missile link system. The signature has been reduced and its warhead can be changed depending on the mission. Future upgrades may include concept optimization for sea or land targets.


Current operators

;CRO: It is the primary weapon of the Croatian Navy for its three guided missile corvettes. It operates the RBS-15m from Tatra trucks (25 units) and stored for a future corvette use (75 units). ;FIN: The Finnish Navy operates both RBS-15SF (Mk. IIs, designation MtO 85, 70 units) and RBS-15SF-3 (Mk. III, 48 units). The Mk. IIs are operated from "Helsinki" and "Rauma" class FACs, as well as mounted on Sisu trucks for mobile coastal defense. The Mk. IIIs are operated from "Hamina" class FACs. Older Mk. IIs (RBS-15F) have been upgraded to Mk. III standard (RBS-15K). ;GER: The German Navy has chosen the Mk. IIIs and Mk. IVs to equip its future Braunschweig class corvettes and F125 class frigates and also plans to upgrade its Brandenburg class frigates with Mk. III;POL: The Polish Navy has chosen the Mk. III to equip its Orkan class missile ships and the future Gawron-class frigates. A deal worth 110 million € was signed and the Orkan class ships modifications will be carried out by Thales Naval Netherlands. Mk.II missiles for Navy mobile land based launchers have also been delivered as part of the offset deal.;SWE: The Swedish Navy operates the missiles from its "Norrköping" class FAC, "Stockholm", "Göteborg" and "Visby" class corvettes. The Coastal Artillery was also equipped with RBS-15Ms, which were mounted on Volvo trucks. The Swedish Air Force operates the RBS-15F. The AJS 37 Viggen and the JAS 39 Gripen carries the missile, with the Viggen no longer in service . The following missiles are or have been used by the different branches: RB04E (100 units), RB08A, RBS08A (45 units), Mk. I, Mk. II Mk. III, RBS-15F (190 units), RBS-15K and RBS-15M (240 units).


;THAAs a part of Gripen procurement program, Royal Thai Air Force will order air-launch version, RBS-15F to equip on Gripen. [ [http://www.gripen.com/en/MediaRelations/News/2008/080211_th_signing.htm Gripen International] Gripen agreement between Sweden and Thailand signed.]

;TUR: The Turkish Navy is considering the RBS-15Mk3 for its new Milgem class corvettes.

Former operators

;YUG: Some RBS-15s were delivered during the late 80's for implementation on the new Yugoslavian Navy FACs to replace existing Russian-built missiles, but this project was never finalized due to the Yugoslav wars. Missiles have since ended up in the Croatian navy.


External links

* [http://products.saab.se/PDBWebNew/Generic.aspx?Entrance=Product&ProductCategoryId=270&ProductGroupId=337&ProductId=657 Manufacturer's page]
* [http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/europe/rbs15.htm GlobalSecurity.org]
* [http://www.diehl-bgt.de/index.php?id=550&L=1 German manufacturer's page (site in English)]
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-Q-wBWQ3eE YouTube videoclip of land-based RBS 15]

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