The Swedish Armed Forces has reactivated the country’s air defence missile system 23 and will be stationed in Gotland. The ‘reintroduction’ of this missile system comes after it was put in the materiel reserve for a few years. The RBS 23 BAMSE (Bofors Advanced Missile System Evaluation)medium-range air defence system was developed in the 1990s and completed in the early 2000s. The Swedish government ordered the RBS23 in 2000 and deliveries started in 2002. The Swedish Army only trained conscripts on the system in 2008, however, the system was not taken into Army use but was used as a demonstration system.
On 1 July 2019, the system was taken into Swedish Army use and a number of RBS 23 systems were placed on Gotland, under command of the new Gotland Regiment. However the system was deployed with the PS-90 search radar and not Giraffe AMB (UndE 23). This is because the Giraffe AMB units had been updated with a new data system for relaying the air picture so they can no longer talk directly to the RBS 23 fire units. The older PS-90 can both talk to the fire units and translate the modern data system to the new one, that is why the PS-90 was picked. According to the Swedish Armed Forces, the unit in the materiel reserve trained at the Air Defence Regiment (LV6) in the Swedish city of Halmstad.
The RBS 23 is a Swedish medium range, all-weather capable air defense system developed by Bofors and Ericsson Microwave Systems (now both in the Saab group). BAMSE is designed for protection of military facilities, ground forces and high value infrastructures. It is intended to operate against very small and fast targets such as attack missiles, anti-radiation missiles, UAVs and cruise missiles. It can also engage high altitude flying targets. The system consists of a Surveillance and Control Centre (SCC) and two to four Missile Control Centers (MCC). The missile control center trailers are located up to 20 km away from the SCC and interconnected via a cable or radio communications (up to 15 km).
The part of Missile system 23, which launches the surface-to-air missile, is called ‘Launch unit 23’. Launch unit 23 is a missile vehicle that can be towed by any type of pulling vehicle. The roof of the vehicle is mounted with a gun carriage with six launch-ready missiles, an extendable 8m-long mast with command radar and an infrared camera. The unit can be connected to the central reconnaissance radar called as ‘Intelligence unit 23’. It can also, however, operate independently if needed. The missile used by the RBS 23 system is based on the RBS 70, but unlike its predecessor it is a radar command control ACLOS missile, which means that the missile itself and the target have to be tracked by the fire control radar until impact.