Aerial Warfare

Lithuania to Acquire New RBS 70 NG Mobile Firing Unit on Oshkosh JLTV

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Lithuania to Acquire New RBS 70 NG Mobile Firing Unit on Oshkosh JLTV

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Lithuania to Acquire New RBS 70 NG Mobile Firing Unit on Oshkosh JLTV
Lithuania to Acquire New RBS 70 NG Mobile Firing Unit on Oshkosh JLTV

Lithuania has inked a significant agreement with the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) and Saab, marking an expansion of joint procurement efforts. The procurement authority for defense equipment in Lithuania, DMA, has signed a pivotal agreement focusing on the acquisition of the RBS 70 NG, a Short-range Air Defense (SHORAD) Man-portable air-defence system (MANPADS)manufactured by Saab. This move not only solidifies the long-standing partnership between Lithuania and Sweden but also demonstrates a concerted effort to enhance the regional defense network. The RBS 70 NG, renowned for its advanced technology and adaptability, is poised to be integrated into Lithuania’s defense infrastructure, specifically mounted on the Oshkosh Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV).

The RBS 70 NG boasts unparalleled flexibility, highlighted by its capability to be seamlessly integrated into various vehicle platforms. At the forefront of this integration is the Oshkosh JLTV, equipped with the fully integrated multispectral Barracuda Mobile Camouflage System. This integration ensures not only concealment but also rapid response against airborne threats when the situation demands. The tactical electronics and low-latency video distribution system, provided by Saab, further augment the crew’s situational awareness on the battlefield. The partnership between Saab and Oshkosh Defense, announced in 2022, has culminated in an innovative and fully integrated solution that maximizes the efficiency and effectiveness of the RBS 70 NG when mounted on the JLTV.

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Saab Showcases RBS 70 NG Mobile Firing Unit on Oshkosh JLTV
Saab Showcases RBS 70 NG Mobile Firing Unit on Oshkosh JLTV. (Photo by Saab)

The RBS 70 NG’s deployment in Lithuania signifies a proactive step in strengthening NATO’s eastern flank. Given the heightened tensions between NATO and Russia, particularly around the Suwalki Corridor—a critical juncture for Baltic security—bolstering air defense capabilities assumes paramount importance. This strategic acquisition underscores Lithuania’s commitment to fortify defenses in a region susceptible to potential threats, enhancing resilience against aerial incursions. The historical success and proven efficacy of the RBS 70 system, notably witnessed in Ukraine. Reports from Ukrainian military sources highlight the RBS 70’s pivotal role in bolstering air defense capabilities against various targets, including a Russian Ka-52 helicopter and cruise and patrol missiles.

RBS 70 (Robotsystem 70) is a man-portable air-defense system (MANPADS) designed and manufactured by the Swedish defence firm of Bofors Defence (now Saab Bofors Dynamics). In 2003 the “BOLIDE” upgrade system was introduced to the RBS 70.[8] The BOLIDE missile is an RBS 70 Mk 2 upgrade that is faster (Mach 2 vs Mach 1.6), with a range up to 8 km (5.0 mi) and can reach an altitude of 6 km. In 2011, Saab Bofors Dynamics (successor company of Bofors Defence) announced the introduction of the new RBS 70 New Generation (RBS 70 NG). The upgraded version included an improved sighting system automatic target tracking capable of night vision and improved training and after-action review features.

RBS 70 NG Mobile Firing Unit
Saab Showcases RBS 70 NG Mobile Firing Unit on Oshkosh JLTV. (Photo by Saab)

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