German Navy Corvette Oldenburg (F263) Test Fires RBS 15 Missile Against Land Target
German Navy Corvette Oldenburg (F263) Test Fires RBS 15 Missile Against Land Target

German Navy Corvette Oldenburg (F263) Test Fires RBS 15 Missile Against Land Target

The German Navy (Deutsche Marine) has test fired RBS 15 Mk3 anti-ship missile at a land-based target in Norway, on board K130 Braunschweig-class corvette Oldenburg (F263). The test was conducted in the northern Norwegian fjords on 18 May. This also marks the first time Oldenburg has fired the RBS 15 missile at a target on land. The total flight distance demanded different, extremely demanding routes from the guided missiles, both at sea and over land. The route made good use of the RBS15’s range of more than 200 km, the rockets hit several hooks on their route and changed their altitude again and again.

Oldenburg (F263) is the fourth ship of the Braunschweig-class corvette of the German Navy. Oldenburg was laid down on 19 January 2006 and launched on 28 June 2007 in Hamburg. She was commissioned on 21 January 2013. The K130 Braunschweig class (Korvette 130) is Germany’s newest class of ocean-going corvettes. Five ships have replaced the Gepard-class fast attack craft of the German Navy. In size, armament, protection, and role, these corvettes resemble modern antisurface warfare light frigates, the main difference being the total absence of any antisubmarine warfare related sensors or weapons.

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K130 Braunschweig-class corvette Oldenburg 's crew fired the RBS15 missile from a battle station.
German Navy K130 Braunschweig-class corvette Oldenburg ‘s crew fired the RBS15 missile from a battle station. The procedure for firing the missile against a land-based target was same as that of a target at sea. (Photo by Bundeswehr)

The RBS 15 (Robotsystem 15) is a long-range fire-and-forget surface-to-surface and air-to-surface anti-ship missile. The later version Mk. III has the ability to attack land targets as well. The missile was developed by the Swedish company Saab Bofors Dynamics. Development of the RBS 15 Mk. III began in the mid-1990s. It is produced by Saab in co-operation with Diehl Defence of Germany. Emphasis was put on increased range (due to larger fuel capacity and new fuel the range has been increased to some 200 km), improved accuracy (integrated GPS) and selectable priority targeting, which improved the weapon system’s flexibility.

The RBS 15 Mk. III was selected for the German Navy’s Braunschweig-class corvettes. The German Navy has ordered the RBS-15 Mk4 in advance, which will be a future development of the Mk3 with increased range —400 km (250 mi)— and a dual seeker for increased resistance to electronic countermeasures. The Mk4 is more advanced than ever before, with its improved target seeker and unrivalled endgame capabilities; and is perfect for littoral environments – one of the most complicated settings forces will face. Gungnir is the newest addition to the RBS15 family, utilising the RBS15 Mk4 missile.

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