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Saab Global

Why a short-range air-defence is needed

2 min read

Cost-effective to operate and requiring minimal manning, short-range air-defence systems fill the defence gaps left by longer range systems.


Today’s medium and long-range and air-defence systems offer an extraordinary combination of accuracy and high firepower. Capable of destroying targets as far away as 40 kilometres in the case of most medium-range systems and up to 200 kilometres away for the best long-range systems, they are an essential part of a nation’s ground-based air defence (GBAD) system.

"SHORAD systems are an important part of a fully functional air defence system"
Emil Holm, Director of Technical Sales Support

But what about aerial threats that emerge from very short range? Or defence environments in tightly packed urban areas and mountainous terrain with numerous hills and valleys?

Emil Holm, Director of Technical Sales Support for GBAD at Saab, says it’s in just these environments that short-range air-defence (SHORAD) systems come into their own, providing a perfect complement to longer range systems.


“SHORAD systems are an important part of a fully functional air defence system,” he says. “They fill the gaps in your long-range and medium range air defence, ensuring full coverage.”

Small and cost effective

Holm says SHORAD systems offer a number of advantages over longer range systems in particular scenarios. “One strength is that they are small and don’t require a lot of personnel to operate them,” he says. “They are also relatively cheap to operate compared to bigger systems and the cost per firing is also lower. And if you are supporting armoured troops, they are quick to deploy and pack up because they are small and agile.”


Saab’s RBS 70 and RBS 70 NG systems provide affordable and effective very short range coverage. The new generation NG model boasts an integrated thermal imager for 24/7 capability.

Holm says a key advantage of the RBS 70 NG solution is its laser guidance system. “Because the laser guidance system is unjammable, you have a reliable last line of defence.”

The affordability of Saab’s SHORAD solutions also means that armed forces can have many firing units in the field.