Sweden and France have signed a bilateral agreement regarding cooperation on a new anti-tank missile (ATGM) system. The agreement enables joint studies, acquisitions, and development. The agreement follows the letter of intent signed on July 1, 2021, between Forsvarets materielverk (FMV) and the Direction générale de l’armement (DGA) in France. For Sweden, the agreement was signed by Mikael Frisell, head of the management staff at FMV, and for France by Gael Diaz du Tuesta, National Armaments director at DGA.
A new anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) system, designated RBS 58 (pansarvärnsrobotssystem 58), which is known internationally as the Akeron MP (Akeron Moyenne Portée, formerly known as Missile Moyenne Portée), will further strengthen the Armed Forces’ ability to engage in armed combat against qualified opponents. Trials have been carried out since 2022 at the 12th motorized rifle battalion of the Life Guard. Training is planned to begin in Swedish units as early as 2023.
The Akeron MP is a French fifth generation, network-enabled, anti-tank guided missile system. Featuring both fire-and-forget and command guidance operating modes, it also integrates third party target designation for indirect firing scenarios through its lock-on after launch capability for non-line-of-sight (NLOS) use. Entering French service from 2017 onwards, the Akeron MP was developed by MBDA France and is intended as a replacement for the MILAN and American-made FGM-148 Javelin.
The Akeron MP is designed for dismounted infantry as well as for integration on combat vehicles and has a firing range of up to 5 km. The missile and its guidance system offer three different operating modes: Fire-and-Forget, Man In The Loop with optical fiber data-link, Lock-on after launch (LOAL) for non-line-of-sight (NLOS) and using third party target designation. Despite these new features, it was still to remain effective against modern AFV and MBT armour. A tandem warhead is used, making it effective against conventional, composite and reactive armour.