A £229 million deal will see thousands of Next Generation Light Anti-Tank Weapon (NLAW) systems assembled in Northern Ireland and delivered to the British Army, the Defence Secretary Ben Wallace announced on 7 December. The deal has been agreed with Swedish defence manufacturer Saab for Next Generation Light Anti-Tank Weapon (NLAW) systems, which are assembled at Thales’ facility in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The United Kingdom has provided thousands of NLAWs to Ukraine to support the defence of their nation following Russia’s unprovoked and illegal invasion.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said:”These next generation light anti-tank weapons have played a decisive role in supporting Ukraine’s army to drive back Russia’s illegal invading forces. Working with our first-class industry partners, we are continuing to fulfil our commitment to NATO by ensuring our Armed Forces will receive a steady supply of these weapons over the coming years, whilst supporting UK jobs across the length and breadth of the country.”
Secured through Defence Equipment and Support – the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence’s procurement arm – agreement will see several thousand units delivered to United Kingdom Armed Forces across 2024-2026, in addition to around 500 being delivered in 2023 through a separate procurement. The United Kingdom continues to be actively engaged with industry, allies and partners to ensure we can equip Ukraine with vital military support while replacing, at pace, equipment and munitions granted in kind from UK stocks. The NLAW has been an important capability in Ukraine’s fight back against Russia’s illegal invasion.
The Saab Bofors Dynamics NLAW or RB 57 is a fire-and-forget, lightweight shoulder-fired, and disposable (single-use) line of sight (LOS) missile system, designed for infantry use. The missile uses a soft-launch system and is guided by predicted line of sight (PLOS). It can carry out an overfly top attack (OTA) on an armoured vehicle, or a direct attack (DA) on structures and non-armoured vehicles. The system was developed in Sweden by prime contractor Saab Bofors Dynamics, on behalf of the British and Swedish defence authorities. It was mainly produced in the United Kingdom by Team MBT LAW UK, which included 14 subcontractors, most notably Thales Air Defence.