Poland Orders RBS15 Missiles for its Navy
On October 6, 2006, Saab Bofors Dynamics and the Polish companies MESKO and BUMAR signed a contract for production of the RBS15 Mk3 anti-ship missile. MESKO and BUMAR are procuring the RBS15 Mk3 on behalf of the Polish Ministry of Defence, and the contract value is EUR 110 million (about $140 million). The ordered missiles will arm Poland’s Project 660 Orkan Class corvettes, which are currently part of a broad fleet modernization effort via a 2001 upgrade contract with Thales Naval Netherlands. The RBS15 is currently in service with Sweden and Germany (via partner Diehl BGT Defence in September 2005); Poland is the second NATO country to adopt it.
The contract became effective when a separate industrial offset agreement was signed with the Polish Ministry of Economy…
RBS-15 fire-and-forget missiles grew out of Sweden’s need for missiles that excelled in littoral warfare situations like Sweden’s fractured coastlines and innumerable bays. They have a longer reach and heavier punch than counterparts like the USA’s Harpoon; the RBS15 Mk3 has a range up to 200 km (120 miles) but a weight of 800 kg (1,750 pounds) and corresponding size. A set of rocket boosters are used to launch the missiles, after which they use their turbojets until target impact. They can be fired from ships, land vehicles, or aircraft to hit ships or land targets as required, using a combination of radar and GPS guidance during an stealthy, terrain-hugging approach that includes programming for indirect attack vectors, evasive maneuvers, and re-attacks. Additional features like salvo launch, which allows several missiles to arrive at the same target simultaneously from different directions, increase the missile’s lethality.
Note that Saab has never released public domain range figures. 200 km/ 125 miles is the RBS15 Mk3’s estimated operational range given flight profile variances; its maximum range is commonly believed to be about 250 km/ 155 miles. The earlier RBS15 Mk2 has a reputed 100 km/ 60 mile operational range, and 150 km/ 90 mile maximum range.
April 20/17: Saab has been contracted by the Polish Navy to conduct maintenance and logistics support for the service’s RBS15 MK3 surface-to-surface missile system. First bought by Warsaw in 2006, the RBS15 system has been used by Poland as a naval defense platform and has been typically integrated on the country’s three Orkan-class fast attack craft. Produced jointly by Saab and Germany’s Diehl Defense, the system features a prelaunch programmable active radar seeker, which enables a fire-and-forget capability in all weather conditions.
April 5/11: Jane’s Maritime Review reports that the first batch of at least 2 Saab Bofors Dynamics RBS15 Mk 3 surface-to-surface antiship missiles was delivered to the Polish Navy “around mid-February 2011”, adding that:
“Poland’s Ministry of National Defence (MND) has not confirmed the delivery. According to the current delivery plan 12 missiles should be handed over during 2011 while the remaining 24 should arrive by the end of 2012.”
Oct 6/06: Saab Bofors Dynamics and the Polish companies MESKO and BUMAR sign a contract for production of the RBS15 Mk3 anti-ship missile. MESKO and BUMAR are procuring the RBS15 Mk3 on behalf of the Polish Ministry of Defence, and the contract value is EUR 110 million (about $140 million). See Saab release