Swedish army conducts test firing qualification of new RBS98 Robotsystem 98 air defense missile system

According to a statement released on June 22, 2020, the Swedish army has conducted final test firing qualification of its new short-range air defense missile system RBS98 Robotsystem 98 which is a ground-launched version of the IRIS-T air-to-air missile mounted on a trailer unit of BvS 10 All-Terrain tracked amphibious vehicle, called Bandvagn 410 in the Swedish army.
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New Swedish army RBS98 Robotsystem 98 mobile air defense missile system performs the final live firing qualification test. (Picture source Swedish Army Anders Åberg/Försvarets materielverk FMV)

The RBS98 Robotsystem 98 is designed to protect soldiers and infrastructure against aerial threats as missile, aircraft and helicopters. Sweden is the first country to benefit from the open system design of the newly developed GBAD* family IRIS-T SLM/SLS, combining and integrating system elements (sensors/radars, command and control systems, communications systems) from various manufacturers into a single powerful weapon system.

The system will employ Diehl Defence's IRIS-T air-to-air missiles, which are already in service with the Norwegian Air Force. Similar to the IRIS-T SLS air defense system, which is just brought into service in the Swedish Army, the IRIS-T missile can be used both in air-launched and ground-launched applications.

The RBS98 Robotsystem 98 (RBS 98) is based on the Bandvagn 410 (BvS 10), a fully amphibious all-terrain armored vehicle designed and manufactured by the British Company BAE Systems, in collaboration with the Swedish Company Land Systems Hagglunds. The vehicle consists of two tracked units linked by a steering mechanism. For the RBS 98, the front vehicle is used to carry the crew while the rear vehicle is fitted with four ready to launch missiles IRIS-T.

The IRIS-T (Infra-Red Imaging System Tail/Thrust Vector-Controlled) is a German program led by the company Dhiel to develop a short-range infrared homing air-to-air missile to replace the AIM-9 Sidewinder found in some NATO member countries. The surface-to-air missile IRIS-T SLM/SLS is an upgraded version of the IRIS-T built in two versions SLS (short-range) and SLM (medium-range). An entire IRIS-T SLM system was tested successfully for the first time in 2014.

The IRIS-T SL missile is equipped with a global positioning system (GPS) / inertial navigation system (INS) technology for autonomous navigation. A Radio Frequency (RF) data link is incorporated to transmit virtual target data from external radar to the missile during the flight. A high-precision passive infrared seeker is incorporated to provide missile guidance, increased countermeasure resistance, and high target accuracy. It can engage targets flying at an altitude of around 20 km.