Saab receives order for NLAW Next generation Light Anti-tank Weapon
Published: 26 December 2016
Defence and security company Saab has received an order for deliveries of the anti-tank weapon system NLAW. Deliveries will take place during 2016 and 2017.
The NLAW system combines the simplicity of light anti-armour weapons with the advantages of heavy, crew-operated guided missile systems. With NLAW, a single soldier can destroy a heavily protected modern Main Battle Tank (MBT) with one shot. The soldier can within and beyond the normal dismounted combat range, immediately upon target detection, regardless of attitude, without having to mount the system, load the weapon and complete a lock-on before launch.
“There is an increased interest and demand for lightweight anti-tank weapons on the market and this order is a strong proof of our customers trust in the NLAW system” says Görgen Johansson, head of Saab business area Dynamics.
“In many countries, there has been a large focus the last decade on building up the capability to fight a war on terror, but we now see that many countries again also realize that the capability to fight a modern mechanized enemy, on an individual soldier level, is becoming more and more important. A system like NLAW provides that capability”, says Görgen Johansson.
The industry’s nature is such that depending on circumstances concerning the product and customer, further information regarding the customer will not be announced.
NLAW (Next generation Light Anti-tank Weapon) is a shoulder-launched, anti-tank missile system that attacks the tank from above. The system is originally developed for Sweden and Great Britain and it meets the requirements for a modern anti-tank weapon system in international operations as well as national defence.
Original post armyrecognition.com
NLAW (Next generation Light Anti-tank Weapon)
Almost three decades since the AT-4 set a lasting benchmark for disposable rocket launchers SAAB worked on a new single-use system from scratch in 2002 with help from Thales and the UK defense ministry. It was an anti-armor weapon meant for the average foot soldier that emphasized being lightweight and portable.
The resulting weapon operated like a rocket launcher and combined SAAB’s expertise in heat-resistant materials and its own cutting edge technology from the pioneering BILL anti-tank missile system.
This is the NLAW or Next Generation Light Anti-Tank Weapon. It’s not supposed to be confused with the American LAW or the British LAW-80, both of which are rocket launchers. Its Swedish designation is Pansarvarnsrobot 57, or RB 57.
The NLAW is a short-range anti-tank missile whose characteristics make it sort of a hybrid. It’s armed with a powerful 150 mm High-Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT) warhead designed to knock out Russian T-series tanks at short ranges. But like other disposable launchers favored by NATO militaries it’s a single use system with basic optics and which is extremely easy to use.
Even the NLAW’s firing mechanism is a novelty. Instead of an embedded lever or trigger on its launch tube it has an ergonomic grip on its right hand side behind the bulbous muzzle brake. To aim the NLAW a basic optical sight with 2.5 times magnification is installed on the launcher. For better accuracy night vision and red dot sights are available upon request.
A little heavier than a loaded FN MAG or similar general purpose machine gun, the NLAW is meant to be carried by infantry who are up against hostile armor and fortifications. To deal with the former, the NLAW is perfect for ambushes in densely forested terrain and even building interiors thanks to its controlled back blast—the diameter of its venturi is smaller at 115 mm than its bore which is 152 mm wide.
Cognizant of threats posed by modern active protection systems and reactive armor, the NLAW operator can opt for an overfly top attack mode. This launches the missile toward the tank turret, where it explodes. Its downward-angled HEAT warhead perforates the thin upper armor even if it’s covered with Explosive Reactive Armor (ERA).
To destroy fixed positions the NLAW can fire its warhead in direct attack mode like an oversized AT-4 with a massive punch. Direct firing can even be done on targets just 20 meters away.
Designed as a single-use weapon system the NLAW can’t be reloaded. Furthermore, its range is modest with its farthest reach of stationary targets at 600 meters. Effective range against moving targets is up to 400 meters. All newer missiles have updated guidance software and can engage targets at a range of 800 meters and up.
Since 2009 the NLAW has found an eager clientele across Europe, with significant orders from Sweden, Finland, Luxembourg and the UK, where it’s designated the MBT LAW. When newly delivered, SAAB’s product literature claims the NLAW enjoys a shelf life of 20 years.
|Country of origin||Sweden|
|Armor penetration||400 – 600 mm|
|Range||400 – 600 / up to 800 m|
|Missile length||1.02 m|
|Missile diameter||0.15 m|
|Missile weight||12.5 kg|
|Total weight with launcher||?|
|Guidance||Inertial, predicted line of sight|
- Single non-expert soldier system
- Range 20-600+m
- PLOS (Predicted Line Of Sight) Guidance
- Fire & forget
- OTA (Overflying Top Attack) and DA (Direct Attack) firing modes
- Un-jammable proximity fuze
- High SSKP (Single Shot Kill Probability)
- Night vision capability
- Confined space capability
- Maintenance free
- 20 years shelf life
- IM (Insensitive Munition)
- Design for all Climate conditions and environments
- Operational temperature -38 to +63 ºC
|Combat range||20 m – 600+ m|
|Warhead||Single shape charge|
|Armour penetration more than MBT roof with explosive reactive armour (ERA)|
|Confined space capability||Yes|
|Preparation time||Approx. seconds|
|Shelf life||20 years|
|Sighting system||Optical sight 2.5x magnification|
|Red dot sight|
|NVG – compatible|