In a noteworthy development from Saab, the company has successfully secured a contract for its Mobile Short-Range Air Defense (MSHORAD) system from the Swedish Military Equipment Administration (FMV). The agreement, valued at approximately SEK 300 million, is slated to transpire between 2024 and 2026. This substantial procurement was officially affirmed in the concluding quarter of 2023.

The implications of this acquisition extend beyond mere procurement details. The FMV, in conjunction with the Swedish Armed Forces, intends to deploy the newly acquired MSHORAD system in two distinct configurations, both integrated with the formidable BvS10 armored vehicle. This strategic maneuver is poised to exert a profound influence on Sweden’s forthcoming mobile air defense commitments, thereby shaping the trajectory of the nation’s defense capabilities.

“We take immense pride in the fact that our Swedish customers have selected Saab’s mobile short-range air defense solution to meet their needs. This sophisticated solution is an excellent demonstration of mobility at its finest, delivering paramount protection for troops involved in combat,” said Jørgen Johansson, Head of Saab’s Dynamics business area.

Regarding SAAB’s MSHORAD

SAAB’s Mobile Short-Range Air Defense (MSHORAD) represents a harmonious integration of the Giraffe 1X radar, the C2 command and control communication platform, and the RBS 70 NG Remote Weapon Station (RWS). Engineered to swiftly detect and counteract airborne threats, the system eliminates surprises and urgency in time-sensitive situations. Think of MSHORAD as a dynamic shield, accompanying troops and efficiently neutralizing air threats without complications.

This vigilant system seamlessly travels with the contingent, providing continuous protection in a dynamic battlefield. Consider a scenario where a vehicle equipped with the Giraffe 1X relocates to a safe distance from troops. Utilizing the command and control system (C2), it generates a local aerial picture, assesses incoming threats, and triggers automated engagement support. The RBS 70 NG’s missiles respond within a mere five seconds upon receiving the data. Additionally, MSHORAD offers visual 3D cueing.

Compact, lightweight, and easily portable, SAAB’s MSHORAD effortlessly attaches to any vehicle platform, ensuring highly adaptable deployment. Its modular design allows for remarkable flexibility, seamlessly integrating with existing equipment.

Latvia’s recent acquisition

Notably, SAAB’s MSHORAD has attracted interest beyond the Swedish Ministry of Defense. On December 14, 2022, Latvia chose to incorporate this advanced system into its arsenal. SAAB’s expertise in ground-based air defense ensures the delivery of a comprehensive solution. Mats-Olof Rydberg, Head of Marketing and Sales at Saab’s Missile Systems business unit, emphasized, “This order signifies that the Latvian National Armed Forces will get access to the best-in-class Giraffe 1X radar and the globally acclaimed, most efficient short-range air defense system, the RBS 70 NG.”

Initial testing

On August 30, SAAB conducted a testing procedure for SHORAD in the municipality of Karlskoga, Sweden. This event witnessed the participation of potential clients from 15 countries. Five successful firings were executed from the Mobile Firing Unit of RBS 70 NG, mounted on the MARS-S330 vehicle, targeting various drones and helicopter airframes. During the firing scenarios, the sight mounted on the vehicle was dismounted and transformed into a man-portable firing unit. Notably, a night-time shooting against a moving target was also conducted.

According to Stefan Öberg, the head of Saab’s business unit Missile Systems, “These successful firings are proof that we have a fully functional mobile air defense solution. This event highlights the importance of having a single supplier providing everything from radar to the firing unit, along with a GBAD C2 solution. The integration of our Giraffe 1X radar with the RBS 70 NG Mobile Firing Unit has resulted in an exceptional solution that stands out in its class for altitude coverage, range, and detection capabilities.”