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The Swedish medium range RBS 23 BAMSE surface-to-air missile, developed by Bofors and Ericsson, is intended to provide air defense to vital targets such as air bases, command centers, and mobile army forces, by facing a number of threats: anti-radiation missiles and other stand-off weapons, fighter bombers, helicopters and transport aircraft. Pre-series production was scheduled to start in 1998, leading to series production being launched in 2000. The project is in jeopardy because of the austerity program, and the future of BAMSE will be decided by the cabinet.

In 1993, the Swedish Government ordered full-scale development of the BAMSE Air Defence Missile System. BAMSE is a joint venture between Bofors Missiles and Ericsson Microwave Systems in which Bofors has the overall system responsibility. Series production will begin at the turn of the century.

The system has all-weather capability and a missile range exceeding the stand-off distance for electro-optical controlled weapons. With an effective altitude coverage of more than 12 km and a range of 15 km, the BAMSE system is suitable not only for protection of vital military objects and manoeuvrable ground forces, but also for protection of infrastructure vital to an entire nation. In cases where a stand-off missile is released from an aircraft outside the range of the air defence system, BAMSE is still capable of defeating the attacking missile.

A BAMSE battery comprises one Surveillance Co-ordination Center (SCC) and two to four Missile Control Centers (MCCs). The Surveillance Co-ordination Center (SCC) SCC has a 3D-surveillance radar with a characteristic 8 or 12 m high antenna mast which enables it to operate over terrain obstacles. The SCC includes such features as automatic tracking, continuous threat evaluation and combat co-ordination. Up to four MCCs can be individually co-ordinated by an SCC. It also has the capability to co-ordinate and control other types of Air Defence systems. The MCCs communicate with the SCC by cable, fibre optic cable or different types of radio. The distance to the SCC may vary, but 10 km can be regarded as a standard distance.

The Missile Control Center (MCC) contains all the essential elements for Combat Control and Fire Control. The MCC is towed by a cross-country vehicle which also transports missiles for reloading. Deployment and fire preparations can be carried out in less than 10 minutes. The MCC Fire Control Radar, Thermal Imaging System, IFF and weather sensor are mounted on a stabilised platform on top of a raisable 8 metre high mast. Guidance of the missile in trajectory is carried out by the Fire Control Radar which is a further development of the Ericsson Eagle radar and operates on the Ka band, i.e. 34-35 GHz. The capability of the MCC to acquire and track low-flying targets is considerably improved by the fact that it is possible to look over obstacles near the deployment site. Inside the NBC- and splinter-protected MCC, two operators are provided with a state-of-the-art situational awareness to enable optimal use of the system.

The missile launcher is located on the roof of the MCC and contains four ready-to-fire missiles. Complete reloading takes less than 3 minutes.

The BAMSE missile has high acceleration and subsequently maintained high velocity, resulting in short time-of-flight, even at long ranges. The missile will maintain its high manoeuvrability right up to the range limit. The high velocity missile has a proximity fuze and an impact fuze. The warhead provides lethal effect against all types of aerial targets, from small, high velocity targets such as cruise missiles and anti-radiation missiles, to large low-speed targets such as transport aircraft.

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Page last modified: 11-07-2011 03:04:47 ZULU