RBS-15 on right
|Type||Fire and forget
anti-ship and land attack
|Place of origin||Sweden|
|In service||1985- present|
|Used by||See operators|
|Manufacturer||Saab Bofors Dynamics, Diehl BGT Defence|
|Warhead||200 kg HE blast and pre-fragmented|
|impact or proximity|
|Flight altitude||sea skimming|
|inertial, GPS, active radar (J band)|
|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 French CT-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 mid-course 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 mid-course 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.
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.