The Swedish Armed Forces has reactivated a land-based mobile RBS15 coastal defence capability on the Baltic coast, some 16 years after it was decommissioned due to budget cuts.
Rear Admiral Thomas Engevall, Chief of Defence Logistics within the Swedish Armed Forces and responsible for materiel acquisition from Sweden’s Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) told IHS Jane’s that the armed forces issued a ‘challenge’ to Saab Dynamics in early 2015 to determine the feasibility of reactivating and reconstituting the original RBS15M3-based coastal defence system capability to an operationally acceptable-standard within a one-year timeframe.
“Saab was challenged in the springtime of 2015 to look into whether this could be achieved or not. FMV awarded the contract – and a year later we fired. So from challenge to shooting it took a year, but a contract was signed a bit later than the issue of the challenge – so actually the contract time was a bit shorter than a year,” Engevall said.
The spur for this initiative, said Engevall, was a high-priority directive from the government to significantly increase operational capability across the entire Swedish Armed Forces by 2020. While the re-activation of the RBS15 mobile coastal systems for the Swedish Navy was not directly specified in the directive, it was clearly ‘in the spirit’ of the given task. “That directive was issued by the government, and all our efforts are now going into this. So, essentially we have reacted to the political will – but we have also demonstrated that we are able to do things like this.”
Stefan Öberg, Vice-President, Saab Dynamics, Head of Missiles Business Unit, told IHS Jane’s that the regenerated RBS15 capability was achieved in close cooperation with both the FMV and the armed forces.