MANUFACTURER(S): Saab Bofors Dynamics - Sweden / Thales Air Defence - UK
OPERATORS: Finland; Indonesia; Luxembourg; Malaysia; Saudi Arabia; Sweden; Switzerland; United Kingdom
ACTION: Shoulder-Fired; Electrically-Actuated; Single-Use; Disposable
LENGTH (OVERALL): 1,016 millimeters (40.00 inches)
LENGTH (BARREL): 1,016 millimeters (40.00 inches)
WEIGHT (UNLOADED): 27.56 pounds (12.50 kilograms)
RATE-OF-FIRE: 1 rounds-per-minute
RANGE (EFFECTIVE): 2,000 feet (610 meters; 667 yards)
Detailing the development and operational history of the Saab Bofors MBT-LAW (N-LAW) Disposable, Shoulder-Fired Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) Launcher.
Entry last updated on 7/26/2018.
Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
The Swedes developed the MBT-LAW ("Main Battle Tank and Light Anti-tank Weapon") as a shoulder-fired, man-portable, armor-defeating, infantry-level weapon. The rise of the MBT in the Cold War decades gave rise to increasing potency of tank-killing systems in turn, culminating in the many useful options experienced on the modern battlefields of today. Design of the MBT-LAW began by Sabb Bofors Dynamics in 2002 utilizing key qualities of several well-tested developmental systems as well as those accepted into the AT4 CS model of 1987 - this adopted by the United States Army as the "M136". The end-result is an appropriate answer to the constantly evolving threat that is the MBT.
The MBT-LAW fires a 150mm missile at subsonic speeds out to an effective range of 600 meters with a maximum range of 1,000 meters listed. The system includes the launcher which is disposable after a single-use. The launcher includes an optics set as well as its own power supply and features a basic tube form with accessible muzzle and breech. The open breech nature absorbs much of the recoil force which allows the MBT LAW to be shoulder-fired by a single person - usually over the right shoulder. Overall weight is 12.5 kilograms with an overall length of 1,016mm, allowing for inherent portability at the infantry level (a shoulder strap is provided). In this way, several MBT-LAWs can be carried into action by rifleman and brought to bear when needed, providing effective, portable tank-killing firepower against unsuspecting tanker crews from nearly any angle. As an armor-defeating weapon, the MBT-LAW can also be utilized against fortified structures with good results and holds the inherently quality of being able to fire from enclosed spaces - extremely useful in urban fighting.
The missile initially clears the launcher before igniting its propellant to provide an added safety measure for the firer. Initial velocity is rated at 131 feet per second and minimum engagement range is 20 meters for additional safety. Guidance is achieved through a "Predicted Line-of-Sight" (PLOS) system an inertial guidance while the warhead seated on each missile can attack targets through a top-down angle - usually the most vulnerable of any armored vehicle including MBTs.
In Swedish Army service, the MBT-LAW has been adopted under the "RB-57" designation. The weapon has also been taken under use by the armies of Finland, Indonesia, Luxembourg and United Kingdom (as of November 2013). The Finns designate the type as the "102 RSLPSTOHJ NLAW" while the British Army have replaced their aged stock of LAW 80 and ILAW weapons with the MBT-LAW.
The MBT-LAW is also known under its other recognized name, "NLAW" - the "N" noting its "Next-Generation" qualities.
July 2018 - It was announced that the nation of Malaysia had ordered an unknown quantity of NLAWs for its Army service.
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