The Market Meets NLAW

  • (Source: Saab)
  • 12:00 AM, November 11, 2008
  • 2359
In 2002, Saab was selected as supplier of the next generation anti-tank weapon for the British army. The first official NLAW-demonstration for potential customers took place recently.>> The demonstration took place on a cold and damp Wednesday deep in the forests of Sweden. About fifty guests from thirteen different countries were present. Shooters from the existing customer countries, Sweden, United Kingdom and Finland, fired three missiles; two at moving targets and one at a concealed armoured vehicle from confined space.>> All shots resulted in direct hits and demonstrated the systems unique hit probability. With these three missiles, a total of 62 live firings have been made, of which 61 have been successful.>> Without competition>> NLAW is a unique project in many ways. The deal with the United Kingdom was won in the face of extremely tough competition at the highest level. A condition of winning the contract was that British industry would be involved in the production to the greatest possible degree. Today, the project has approximately 20 subcontractors spread across the whole United Kingdom. Final assembly takes place at Thales in Northern Ireland, while all development work takes place at Saab.>> At the end of 2005, Sweden also ordered the NLAW system.>> NLAW is a unique weapons system that does not have any direct competitors. This is shown by the fact that Finland came on board as a customer in 2007, before the system was fully developed, says Michael Ekenstedt, who is programme manager for NLAW.