Having announced that it was developing a fourth generation of its RBS15 anti-ship missile last year, Saab has begun promoting the weapon on the international stage this week at the Farnborough Airshow. Development was formally launched with a development contract from FMV, the Swedish defense material administration, in March 2017. A month later, another contract was awarded covering initial production, with deliveries expected in the mid-2020s.
Known as Gungnir—Odin’s spear in Norse mythology—the new iteration of the missile uses the same form factor as the current RBS15 Mk 3 but has new systems that provide improved capability and a range increased to more than 300 km (186 miles). RBS15 was developed for use in Sweden’s archipelagoes along the Baltic coast and is particularly effective in littoral scenarios.
The current third-generation missile can fly sophisticated attack profiles that permit the weapon to use the cover of islands and coastal features to mask its approach. Saab's new version will expand on this capability, and also have the ability to attack land targets.
Built by Saab (Outdoor Exhibit 14) in partnership with Diehl Defence of Germany, the RBS15 serves with the forces of Croatia, Finland, Germany, Poland, Sweden, Thailand, and an undisclosed nation. There are land-, sea- and air-launched versions. The air-launched subvariant of the RBS15 Gungnir is referred to as the RBS15 Mk 4 (Air).