On Monday, the Swedish Armed Forces carried out for the first time a firing of the Robot System 23 (also known as the Bofors Advanced Missile System Evaluation (BAMSE) air-defense missile. The firing demonstrates that the active defense of Gotland is strengthened, and it is part of building up the anti-aircraft capability on Gotland. Testing the anti-aircraft capability of Robot System 23 has been a priority issue since the security situation deteriorated last year. The firing was carried out at the Tofta shooting range in collaboration with several different parties. Everything is going according to plan.
A target was launched, detected by reconnaissance radar 90, and shot down by a Robot 23 fire unit. Today’s gunners and combat leaders are also satisfied. They both did military service at the Air Defense Regiment in Halmstad in the 2021–2022 academic year. At the beginning of 2022, they were told that they would do the rest of their military service on Gotland and be trained on Robot System 23. Now, a year later, they are called up for their first war unit exercise, and they are the ones sitting in the fire unit and shooting the robot when the Swedish Armed Forces conduct a firing with the system for the first time.
“We choose when and where we want to show our abilities to the opponent, and today we chose Gotland,” says Major General Fredrik Ståhlberg who is the deputy head of operations management.
“I am extremely proud of the capabilities we have in Sweden. There is a high degree of professionalism among soldiers and officers, and this is technology that is built and developed in Sweden. We have an industry that can deliver world-class technology,” says Deputy Army Commander Brigadier General Anders Svensson.
The RBS 23 is a Swedish medium range, air defense system developed by Bofors and Ericsson Microwave Systems (now both in the Saab group). BAMSE is designed for protection of military facilities 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. A unit was trained at the Air Defense Regiment in Halmstad, but it was never incorporated into the Swedish Armed Forces’ operational organization at the time and its equipment ended up in the materiel reserve. Saab mention ground coverage of more than 1,500 km², altitude coverage of 15,000 m and range out to 20 km.