Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
Also Known As: NLAW, RB57 and Robot 57
* and Thales
(*) lead contractor
Parent System: MBT LAW
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 2005
Total Production: 10,000
Total Cost: USD$677 million
Description: The MBT LAW - also known as the NLAW - is a man-portable, fire and forget, disposable weapon consisting of an anti-tank missile sealed within a launch tube. The MBT LAW has been designed to counter main battle tanks at short ranges as well as buildings, fortifications and non-armored vehicles. This weapon system is based on proven technologies from the Bill 2 anti-tank missile and AT4 CS lightweight anti-tank weapon. Like the AT4 CS, the MBT LAW weapon can be handled by a single soldier and launched from confined spaces making it highly suitable for urban warfare.
The MBT LAW features a single shaped charge detonated by magnetic and optical sensors striking downward at 90-degree. The weapon only weighs less than 12 kg and is absolutely free of maintenance. The weapon operator must track the target during 2-3 seconds before the launch. During that time the guidance control system of the MBT LAW calculates the foreseeable position of the target. The weapon can be launched at 45-degree upward/downward. Once launched, the projectile follows top-attack or direct attack profile according to pre-launch settings.
The direct attack profile is characterized by impact fuze activated, sensors off, and flight path on the line of sight. The top-attack profile means proximity fuze activated, sensors on, and elevated flight path to the target. Main battle tanks with heavy armor require a top-attack profile, while the direct attack profile is enough for other types of targets.
In May 2002, the UK Ministry of Defense selected the MBT LAW to carry out the NLAW project. The MBT LAW will be produced mainly in the United Kingdom, while export sales are anticipated between 80,000 and 100,000 weapons. The MBT LAW will achieve operational capability in the British Army by 2005.
In late December 2005 the Swedish Defense Materiel Administration placed a SEK 500 million order for NLAW anti-weapon systems for use by the Swedish Armed Forces. Robot 57 was chosen as the designation for NLAW/MBT LAW weapon system within the Swedish Armed Forces.
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