The RBS 15 Gungnir is the next generation missile in the RBS 15 family of anti-ship missile systems offered by the Saab Group.
Gungnir is the system-level designation, while the air-launch configuration is referred to as RBS15 Mk4. It is manufactured by Saab in collaboration with the German company Diehl Defense. The term Gungnir refers to the lance of the Norse god Odin in Scandinavian mythology.
The missile is designed to dominate the coastal environment and provide a sustainable and adaptable solution to meet the future defense needs of naval, land and air forces around the world.
The RBS 15 Gungnir was officially presented for the first time at the Farnborough International Airshow 2018 held in Farnborough, UK in July 2018.
The Swedish Defense Material Administration (FMV) placed a $ 358.5 million order with Saab for the development of RBS 15 Mk4 missiles in March 2017. The missiles will be deployed aboard the Visby-class corvettes of the Royal Swedish Navy and of the JAS Gripen E multi-role combatants of the Swedish Air Force. Diehl Defense placed an order with Saab for the $ 18 million RBS15 Mk3 anti-ship missile systems in August 2018. Deliveries will take place between 2019 and 2024.
In September 2020, Saab was contracted by Diehl Defense to supply RBS15 anti-ship missiles worth $ 194 million to the German Navy. Deliveries are scheduled between 2022 and 2026.
RBS 15 Gungnir variants
The versatile capabilities of the RBS 15 Gungnir missile solution allow operators to use it in three different configurations, which include air-launch, ship-launch and land-based configuration.
“The propulsion system allows the missile to travel at a high subsonic speed of 0.9 Mach.”
The air variant of Gungnir is referred to as RBS 15 Gungnir Air System. In the air-launched configuration, the RBS 15 Mk4 air missiles can be propelled from the Saab Gripen multirole fighter aircraft. The air system can also be integrated with other similar aircraft.
In the ship-launched configuration, Mk4 missiles are launched from the deck of a warship. It is compatible with vessels of different sizes and shapes.
The RBS 15 Gungnir Land System is the most upgradeable version among the three variants. It can be integrated into a control network.
The next generation of the RBS15 system is called RBS15 Gungnir by Saab and is now being introduced to the market as a complete air, sea and land missile system solution for vehicles.
The RBS15 missile family is in service with several navies, coastal batteries and air forces in Sweden, Finland, Germany, Poland, Croatia, Thailand and an undisclosed country.
Design and characteristics of the RBS 15 Gungnir anti-ship missile system
The RBS 15 Mk4 anti-ship missile features a long, circular fuselage, which tapers forward to form a cone-shaped nose section.
The missile airframe is made of composite materials and has supports to allow its installation on airplanes. The composite structure provides optimal defense penetration and protection against electronic threats.
Gungnir can be seamlessly integrated into the existing infrastructure of forces such as trucks, planes and ships.
The anti-ship missile has a length of 4.35 m and a wingspan of 1.40 m. The total diameter of its circular fuselage is 0.50 m. Its weight in flight is around 650 kg while its weight with boosters is 810 kg.
The RBS15 flexible launch unit system is built on an ISO standard 20ft container footprint. It includes the main components and systems necessary to enable the launch of the RBS15 missile.
The structure incorporates up to four missiles per container and can be loaded onto any military or civilian vehicle capable of transporting ISO-standard containers.
Guidance and navigation of RBS 15 Gungnir missiles
The active J-band radar target finder on board the Gungnir is integrated with a high-precision inertial navigation system (INS). State-of-the-art target finder provides all-weather operational capability. It offers a greater degree of precision while discriminating against targets and engaging them even under the most adverse conditions.
A new data link installed in the missile system allows operators to retarget the missile during flight. The missile is also equipped with an anti-jamming global positioning system (GPS) and other advanced autonomous technologies that improve its survivability.
The missile will independently identify and engage targets, without relying on global navigation satellite systems or data links.
Warhead and propulsion of the Gungnir anti-ship missile
The warhead placed in the middle of the missile weighs about 200 kg. The highly destructive warhead can destroy any type of ship.
The missile is powered by a turbojet, while the land and sea configurations of the RBS 15 Mk4 are also fitted with two booster engines for high thrust in the initial thrust phase.
The propulsion system allows the missile to travel at a high subsonic speed of 0.9 Mach. The range of the missile is over 300 km, which is greater than that of other missiles in the RBS 15 family.