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Sweden orders SAAB RBS 56 BILL anti-tank missiles while waiting French MBDA MMP.

| 2021

According to information published by the FMV (Defense Materiel Administration) of Sweden on December 21, 2021, the FMV has signed a contract with the Swedish company SAAB for the purchase of RBS 56 BILL, a Swedish-made anti-tank guided missile system developed by AB Bofors for an amount of around €20 million.
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Swedish soldiers using RBS 56 BILL portable anti-tank missile weapon system. (Picture source SAAB)

The purchase of the RBS 56 BILL was decided in a very short time to maintain the anti-tank capabilities of the Swedish armed forces. It was re-introduced while awaiting the acquisition of a new medium-range anti-tank missile.

The RBS 56 BILL is a man-portable anti-tank guided missile system developed in Sweden by the Bofors and now produced by SAAB. An RBS 56 launcher station consists of a tripod, a missile in its container, and a sighting unit. Both day and infrared night sights are available, with the day sight having a 1x magnification, and the night sight has a 7x magnification. The tripod weighs 11.8 kg, while the missile weighs 20 kg (10.5 kg in flight), the day sight weighs 6.0 kg, and the night sight weighs 8.5 kg.

The RBS 56 BILL missile can be used against both static and moving targets with a firing range from 150 m to 2,200 m. The missile has a double vertically striking shaped charge High-Explosive (HE) warhead.

Citing FMV information, currently, Sweden collaborates with France for the acquisition of the new MMP (Medium-Range Missile) designed and developed by the company MBDA that could be delivered in 2025.

In July 2021, France and Sweden agreed to co-develop a new anti-tank missile based on MBDA’s Missile Moyenne Portée (Medium-Range Missile/MMP) missile. The French Direction générale de l'armement (DGA French Defense Procurement Agency) has signed a letter of intent with Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (Försvarets materielverk or FMV) to build these new missiles.

In November 2021, Army Recognition has reported that Sweden has conducted firing tests with the French MMP (Medium-Range Missile) designed and developed by the company MBDA.

The MMP is the latest (fifth) generation land combat missile system designed for dismounted infantry as well as for integration on combat vehicles. The weapon’s effectiveness has also been proven on small naval craft.

The missile is fitted with selectable warhead mode to be used as an Anti-Tank missile for optimal armor penetration or with maximum blast effect against dismount personnel. It has a minimum firing range of 150m and a maximum of 4,000m. The warhead can penetrate 1,000 mm of rolled homogeneous armor (RHA), and 2,000mm of concrete. It can destroy targets as heavy tanks with reactive armor as well as infantry entrenched in infrastructure.

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