RBS 70

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RBS 70
RBS 70.png
Latvian RBS 70
Type Short-range Air Defense (SHORAD)
Man-portable air-defence system (MANPADS)
Place of origin Sweden
Service history
In service 1977–present
Wars Iran–Iraq War, 1992 Venezuelan coup d'état attempts
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.[1]


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 MIM-23 Hawk systems (RBS 77 and RBS 97 "Swedish HAWK"), American Redeye (RBS 69) and the Swedish Bofors m/48 AAA.

The Swedish Army has decided to replace the RBS 70 with a ground-launched version of the IRIS-T missile.[2]


RBS-70 and operator in Australian service, 2011.

The RBS 70 is a Short-range Air Defense (SHORAD) laser guided missile system.

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.[citation needed]

In 2003 the "BOLIDE" upgrade system was introduced to the RBS 70.[3] 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. Deliveries were initiated in 2005.

Latest upgrade[edit]

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.[4]

Operational use[edit]

In 1990, the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) embarked two RBS-70 units and Australian Army operators onboard the Fleet Replenishment ship,HMAS SUCCESS, when it deployed to the Persian Gulf in the lead up to the first Gulf War in Kuwait.

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.[5]

Iran used the RBS-70 system during the Iran–Iraq War against Iraqi aircraft.[6]


Map with RBS 70 operators in blue

Current operators[edit]

Former operators[edit]

  • Norway Norway (no longer in active service)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Lithuania upgrading RBS 70 MANPADS with night vision sights and improved missiles | August 2018 Global Defense Security army news industry | Defense Security global news industry army 2018 | Archive News year". 
  2. ^ "More Air Launched Missiles Go To Ground", Strategy page, January 26, 2013 .
  3. ^ "RBS 70 NG VSHORAD: BACKGROUND: INNOVATION IT'S IN OUR BLOOD". Saab Bofors Dynamics. 2010. Archived from the original on 8 June 2013. Retrieved 28 September 2011. 
  4. ^ "RBS 70 NG VSHORAD: NEW GENERATION". Saab Bofors Dynamics. 2010. Archived from the original on 24 September 2011. Retrieved 28 September 2011. 
  5. ^ "Chronological Listing of Venezuelan Losses & Ejections". Project Get Out and Walk. 
  6. ^ https://csis-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/legacy_files/files/media/csis/pubs/9005lessonsiraniraqii-chap13.pdf
  7. ^ The World Defence Almanac, 1996–97, p. 38, ISSN 0722-3226 .
  8. ^ "Army of Brazil to purchase SAAB RBS 70 VSHORAD Very Short Range Air Defense System". Army recognition. March 4, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Register of the transfers of major conventional weapons from Sweden 1995–2005". Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Archived from the original on 2006-08-23. 
  10. ^ Saab sells air defence to Finland worth 600 million SEK (press release), Saab, 2007-01-18 .
  11. ^ "Giddy over air-defense system". The Baltic Times. Baltic News Service. November 17, 2004. 
  12. ^ Small Arms Survey (2004). "Big Issue, Big Problem?: MANPADS" (PDF). Small Arms Survey 2004: Development Denied. Oxford University Press. p. 81. 
  13. ^ Hussain, Maryam (June 2, 2006). "Deal signed with Bofors for missile repair". The Daily Times (Pakistan). Retrieved May 26, 2013. 

External links[edit]