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Saab Bofors RBS 70

Man-Portable, Short-Range Air Defense System [ 1977 ]

The Saab Bofors RBS 70 anti-aircraft missile product ensures denial of airspace to low-flying enemy aircraft.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 08/18/2023 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

The RBS 70 is an all-in-one airspace deterrence weapon system that belongs to the category of "SHOrt-Range Air Defense" (SHORAD) systems further broken down as a "MAN-Portable, Air-Defense System" (MANPADS). These are shoulder-fired, battlefield solutions developed as mobile counters to low-flying / slow-flying fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft. The weapon has been in service since 1977 and proven through several conflicts to date including the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988). Bofors Defence originally handled manufacturing of the product until merged in 2000 with Saab to produce the Saab Bofors Dynamics brand label.

The weapon is similar in scope to the American FIM-92 "Stinger" and Soviet/Russian 9K38 "Igla" series MANPADs, championed through qualities such as low cost and ease-of-operation.

The complete system weighs 192lb and the launcher component carries a diameter of 106mm. The arrangement includes the support tripod assembly and the unit can be affixed to vehicles (including warships) or fired from its provided land-based stand. The missile component has a shaped-charge warhead with some 3,000 tungsten spheres ready to maximize damage to the target aircraft. The missile features a booster unit utilizing smokeless propellant and has proximity fuse detonation. It is able to reach out to aerial targets at ranges of 5.6 miles up to altitudes of 16,400 feet while flying at speeds of Mach 2. The missile is directed to the target by the laser-beam-riding process.

The RBS 70 unit is deployed by a plethora of global players ranging from Argentina and Australia to the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela. The Norwegian Army sold their stock of missile launchers to ally Lithuania.

In Swedish military service, the RBS 70 was adapted to succeed an aging line of American MIM-23 Hawk SAMs in same role (known locally as the RBS 97 or the "Swedish Hawk"). Local marks included the Mk 1 and improved, higher performance Mk 2 of 2005. The RBS 70 NG is the "Next Generation" offering which includes night vision capability as well as all-modern, improved optics.©MilitaryFactory.com
Note: The above text is EXCLUSIVE to the site www.MilitaryFactory.com. It is the product of many hours of research and work made possible with the help of contributors, veterans, insiders, and topic specialists. If you happen upon this text anywhere else on the internet or in print, please let us know at MilitaryFactory AT gmail DOT com so that we may take appropriate action against the offender / offending site and continue to protect this original work.

August 2023 - The RBS70 is said to have been the weapon to bring down a Russian Ka-52 attack helicopter in the Zaporizhzhia sector as the fighting in Ukraine continues.


Basics [+]
Bofors Defence / Saab Bofors Dynamics - Sweden
Argentina; Australia; Bahrain; Brazil; Chile; Czech Republic; Finland; Indonesia; Iran; Ireland; Latvia; Lithuania; Mexico; Norway (sold off to Lithuania); Pakistan; Singapore; Sweden; Thailand; Tunisia; Ukraine; United Arab Emirates; Venezuela National flag of Argentina National flag of Australia National flag of Bahrain National flag of Brazil National flag of Chile National flag of Czechia National flag of Finland National flag of Indonesia National flag of Iran National flag of Ireland National flag of Latvia National flag of Lithuania National flag of Mexico National flag of Norway National flag of Pakistan National flag of Singapore National flag of Sweden National flag of Thailand National flag of Tunisia National flag of Ukraine National flag of the United Arab Emirates National flag of Venezuela
Service Year
National Origin

Ability to engage low-flying aerial threats.

Overall Length
1,320 mm / 51.97 in
Barrel Length
1,320 mm / 51.97 in
Weight (Empty)
191.80 lb / 87.00 kg
*May not represent an exhuastive list; Calibers may be model-specific dependent; Always consult official manufacturer sources.
Integrated Optics with Night Vision

Material presented above is for historical and entertainment value and should not be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation - always consult official manufacturer sources for such information.

Max.Effective Range
26,250 ft / 8,001.0 m | 8,750.0 yds
4 rpm

RBS 70 - Base Series Designation.
RBS 70 Mk 1 - Original production model.
RBS 70 Mk 2 - Enhanced model with improved missile performance.
RBS 70 NG ("New Generation") - Night vision support; improved optics.

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Image of the Saab Bofors RBS 70
Image from the United States Department of Defense imagery database.

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