The drill, which involved multiple launches from multiple platforms in a coordinated strike, that was used to check preparedness and sharpen the military readiness of all three services at once.
According to a Swedish armed forces statement commenting the drill:
The development of the security policy situation is characterized by instability and great uncertainty, especially in our immediate neighborhood. It requires Sweden’s military defence, the availability and co-operation of the armed forces, which are able to assume greater preparedness and resolve complex tasks, individually and together. This week, therefore, an unannounced snap exercise was carried out to test the capacity for a common maritime claim battle.
The snap exercise was carried out at Härnösand Naval Test, Training and Exercise Range. It involved Visby-class corvette HSwMS Helsingborg (K32) of the Swedish Navy (Svenska Marinen), a JAS 39 Gripen fighter of the Swedish Air Force (Svenska Flygvapnet) and a land-based coastal defence system of the Swedish Navy.
The three platforms deployed two Saab RBS15 type anti-ship missiles each. For the record, the land-based systems were re-introduced with the Swedish Army back in November 2016.
“To coordinate shooting from three different types of platforms, corvettes, heavy coastal robot units and combat aircraft, towards a common long-range sea goal is complex and therefore exercise is required” said Deputy Chief of Staff General Major Urban Molin, who led the snap exercise. He added:
I am very pleased with the way in which our liaison offices conducted this exercise at short notice. My conclusion is that we have confirmed the ability to perform a joint ASuW operation. We have also been able to do this, while providing broad support to the rest of society in the face of the pandemic,”
About Saab’s RBS15 anti-ship missile
The RBS15 (Robotsystem 15) is a long-range fire-and-forget surface-to-surface and air-to-surface, anti-ship missile, the first version of which (Mk I) entered service with the Swedish Navy in the mid 1980ies. It had a range of 70+ km
The RBS-15 Mk II, which was used in the joint exercise, has the same range but brings improvements to the guidance system (which uses inertial, GPS and active radar homing). It is designed to be launched from land-based launchers, aircraft, and ships. Its production started in 1998.
The later version Mk III (not used by Sweden but in use with the German and Polish navies) has the ability to attack land targets and increases the missile range to over 200 km.
Sweden will be switching from the Mk II directly to the latest, Mk IV, variant (also known as Gungnir). According to Saab, it will have better range, a better seeker and lower weight. It is set to be deployed from Sweden’s Visby-class corvettes and JAS Gripen E fighters from the mid-2020ies.
The RSB15 (all variants) anti-ship missile has been selected by Sweden, Germany, Croatia, Finland, Poland, Thailand and Algeria.