SAAB signs contract with Lithuania to supply RBS 70 man portable air defense missile systems

According to information published by the Swedish company SAAB on October 25, 2022, SAAB has signed a four-year contract with the Lithuanian Defense Materiel Agency, which will allow the customer to place orders for RBS 70 missiles until 2026. A first purchase within the new contract has also been placed, with an order value of SEK 350 million. Deliveries will take place from 2023 - 2024.
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Australian Defence Force Lt. Joshua Davidson (left) and Gunner Bradley King (right) simulate firing a Robotsystem 70 anti-aircraft missile system, July 15, 2021, at Camp Growl in Queensland, Australia, during Exercise Talisman Sabre 2021. (Picture source U.S. DoD)

The order includes missiles for Saab’s ground-based air defense system RBS 70. The Ministry of the National Defense Republic of Lithuania awarded two orders worth $15.35m in August 2018 improved RBS 70 missiles and BORC night-capability sights that were delivered in 2019.

“Our best-in-class short-range air defense missiles deliver a tactical advantage. The recent contract will further strengthen Lithuania’s air defense capability through the RBS 70 system and its high-performance missiles,” says Görgen Johansson, head of Saab’s business area Dynamics.

Saab’s portfolio of short-range ground-based air defense missile systems includes the RBS 70 and the latest version, RBS 70 NG. The RBS 70 system has an impressive track record on the market with more than 1,600 launchers and over 18,000 missiles delivered to 19 nations.

The RBS 70 is a man-portable air-defense missile system (MANPADS) designed for air defense warfare in all climate zones and with little to no support from other forces. The first delivery of RBS 70 missile systems for trial purposes was made in late 1973 with user trials conducted between 1974 and 1975.

The latest generation of RBS 70 missile has a firing range from 250 to 9,000 m with a maximum altitude of 5,000 m. It has a 1.1 kg combined warhead with 3,000 tungsten spheres and a shaped charge.