According to information published by the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (Försvarets materielverk, FMV) of Sweden on December 21, 2021, the FMV has signed a contract with the Swedish company SAAB for the purchase of RBS 56 BILL anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) system developed by AB Bofors for an amount of around €20 million. It was re-introduced while awaiting the acquisition of a new medium-range anti-tank missile. France and Sweden agreed to co-develop a new anti-tank missile based on MBDA’s Missile Moyenne Portée (Medium-Range Missile/MMP) missile. The French Direction générale de l’armement (DGA) signed a letter of intent with Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (Försvarets materielverk or FMV) to build these new missiles. Saab will be the Swedish partner in the contract.
The RBS 56B BILL 2 Anti-Tank Guided Weapon (ATGM) is a man-portable or vehicle-mounted guided anti-tank missile using the overfly top attack method to attack the weaker parts of an armoured vehicle. The RBS 56B BILL 2 was designed upon the original BILL 1 Anti-tank guided weapon that has been in the service of the Swedish Army since 1988. The BILL 2 is currently produced by Saab Bofors Dynamics, who are located in Karlskoga, Sweden. The RBS 56B BILL 2 uses OTA or Overfly Top Attack to attack its target. The missile flies towards the target on a standard horizontal trajectory, but rather than directly hitting the target head on, it overflies it, detonating its warhead on top of an armored vehicle, where the armour is usually lighter. It also utilizes additional guidance accuracy via the installed rate gyro, which monitors the tracking movement of the launcher.
The BILL 2 Missile uses a SACLOS or semi-automatic command to line-of-sight guidance system, and is controlled via a communications wire that trails behind the missile from the launch tube. The BILL 2 warhead has an optical and magnetic sensor. The optical sensor serves to find the target’s range, while the magnetic sensor detects metallic targets to determine the best point for the missile to detonate. The BILL 2 contains both a proximity fuse and an inertial impact fuse. The BILL 2 is armed with a pair of vertically striking Explosively formed penetrator warheads, which each direct a self-forging slug of metal downwards at extreme velocities using a high explosive blast. The 40mm frontal “precursor” warhead destroys any reactive armour protecting the target and leaves the 110mm rear warhead to penetrate the armour. Total penetration capabilities are classified, but are known to be at least 550mm in rolled homogeneous armor.
Missile Moyenne Portée (Medium-Range Missile/MMP) is a French man-portable anti-tank guided missile. It was developed by MBDA Missile Systems and is intended as a replacement for their MILAN, which has been sold worldwide. Particular developments over existing missiles were for it to be safe for operators within a confined space, i.e. reduced backblast on launch, and for improved guidance that could target non-IR cold targets as well as AFVs with a reduced risk of collateral damage. Compared to its predecessors it contains a great deal of modern and COTS electronics, rather than the previously slow-moving development of military procurement. The missile and its guidance system offer three different operating modes: Fire-and-Forget, Man In The Loop with fibre optic data-link Lock-on after launch (LOAL) for non-line-of-sight (NLOS) and using third party target designation.