NLAW For The Army

Saab NLAW

SHAH ALAM: IT appears that the Army had ordered a batch of Next Generation Light Anti-tank Weapon (NLAW) developed by Sweden and United Kingdom. This was revealed as the Defence Ministry issued a request for tender to multi-modal transport operator (MTO) to ship the missiles back to Malaysia.

Saab NLAW

Like the earlier order for the LAW and MAPAM this was the first time I had heard about the acquisition of the anti-tank missiles.

A soldier preparing to fire the NLAW. Note the red dot sight. SAAB

Saab announced an order for the NLAW from an undisclosed customer back in December, 2016 with deliveries scheduled for 2017. Checks with my sources indicated that the undisclosed customer may well have been Malaysia.

Saab NLAW. Saab

As the NLAW is manufactured by Thales Air Defence in the UK, it is likely that this could also be part of the Starstreak deal in 2015. Under the deal Thales agreed to buy back the retired Starburst missiles and launchers. Part of the proceeds of the buy back led to the purchase of the Guardians MRAP for the Malaysian contingent in Lebanon.

Unlike the Carl Gustav and RPG-7, the NLAW can be fired safely in a confined space. SAAB

From Saab

Destroy the most advanced Main Battle Tanks wherever and whenever it appears.

NLAW (Next generation Light Anti-tank Weapon) is the latest shoulder-launched, Overfly Top Attack, anti-tank missile system that makes it the true tank killer for light forces that operate dismounted in all environments including built up areas.

Selectable Overfly Top Attack (OTA) against armoured targets and Direct Attack (DA) against non armoured targets such as other vehicles and vessels or enemy troops inside buildings.

PLOS (Predicted Line Of Sight) guidance and OTA delivers easy handling, accuracy and high kill probability.

Specifications of the NLAW

Single non-expert soldier system, Range 20-800m

PLOS (Predicted Line Of Sight) Guidance, Fire & forget

OTA (Overflying Top Attack) and DA (Direct Attack) firing modes

Un-jammable proximity fuze, High SSKP (Single Shot Kill Probability)

Night vision capability, Confined space capability

Maintenance free, 20 years shelf life

IM (Insensitive Munition), Design for all Climate conditions and environments

From the specifications, the NLAW is looking very similar to the MBDA Eryx, previously in service with the GGK. As the Army infantry unit’s main shoulder launch weapons are the RPG-7 (section level) and Carl Gustaff recoiless rifle (support platoon) it is likely that the GGK will be the main operator of the NLAW together with the LAW.

An Army soldier firing a RPG-7 at the LKT 2018. Note the back blast.

It is also likely that a small batch of the NLAW and LAW will also make their way to the leading elements of the 10th Para Brigade as a last ditch defence against all sorts of targets.

— Malaysian Defence

If you like this post, buy me an espresso. Paypal Payment

Share
About Marhalim Abas 1179 Articles
Shah Alam

21 Comments

  1. “OTA (Overflying Top Attack) and DA (Direct Attack) firing modes”
    so one of army objective have been achieve.

    this is exciting….hope we can see the demo or exercise of it in the next LKT

    Reply
    If it goes to the GGK as I am assuming, unlikely they will fire it during LKT. They never did with the Eryx, AFAIK. Of course this will make the odd trip to Mersing a little bit worthwhile

  2. Great news. At last a top attack atgm for the army.

    Was looking at LIG Next1 Raybolt, this is more of a javelin-like system rather than a disposable one like the NLAW. Any pros and cons using reusable instead of disposable systems?

    Reply
    Not sure about the pros and cons. But carrying extra rounds are always a bitch especially for a specialised units. In normal infantry the lowest rank got the dibs

  3. Buying decision under PH or previous government?

    Reply
    Of course it was the previous government. One just don’t order missiles today and get them next week

  4. Malaysia made a Good Choice to buy NLAW but I wish PASKAL And PASKAU Has New ATGM for Spec-Ops Mission Serious. And Should Army need Javelin ?

  5. “Part of the proceeds of the buy back led to the purchase of the Guardians MRAP for the Malaysian contingent in Lebanon.”
    -What the…? I thought the MRAPs were UN sponsored since it will be used for missions under their auspices?

    From wiki, this NLAW seems to be better than Javelin, considering its ability to fire in CS.

    Reply
    If we buy things for UN missions, they will reimburse the cost. However we need to pay the manufacturer first to get the things before claiming it to the UN. It must be noted that the reimbursement money will be paid to the Treasury and not to the Defence Ministry. It will be up to the Treasury to decide on whether to allocate the money back to the Ministry. That’s why the allowance money for soldiers for the Congo mission in the 60s were never paid to them. Nowadays soldiers got the their UN allowance though I have been told that it was not the full amount. I stand to be corrected on this of course

  6. Is the short range going to be an issue?
    I suppose not because there is plenty of cover from trees and buildings in M’sia. It’s not as if there wide open spaces like in a desert or in Europe with lot of pastures or grassland.

    What does everyone think?

    Reply
    It is a shoulder launch missile, it is not expected to touch something far away.

  7. Better to have and not need than to need and not have.

    Glad the boys got these instead of the javelin.

    Big and clunky those things are .

    Big thumbs up for me.

  8. Nice to see something new in the tender listing.. asyik2 servis dobi dengan tanam bunga saja haha

  9. If this is correct, malaysia will he the 2nd country in SEA to use NLAW, indonesian army being the 1st user since 2013.

    https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ZwJTtZxUEiA/UUywIeqrSGI/AAAAAAAARps/t9VVt7NaRwg/s1600/ATGM_NLAW.jpg

    Interestingly TNI-AD uses NLAW and also Javelin for ATGW.

    As of our ATGW stocks. We know the Eryx has expired. Next in line would be the Metis-M. Not seen the Metis-M at LKT 2018, but it was there last year. Our baktar shikans are from 2001, no idea how much longer the missile life would be. So as of now we have
    – NLAW
    – INGWE
    – Baktar shikan
    – Metis-M

    C90 and RPG7 are basically rocket propelled granades while Carl Gustav is a recoiless rifle

  10. Short, medium and long range ATGMs all have their purposes, their pros and their cons. Applies to every weapons system.

    The question is whether we are using something for a purpose that it is not intended for, and whether not having something or not enough of it leaves us vulnerable.

  11. @dodo, Joe
    Javelin also has soft launch capability, and is as different from NLAW as a .50 cal MG from an M4A1. NLAW is a very fine single shot shoulder launched weapon at squad level, possibly even the best in its class.

    But Javelin is a real tank-killer with a warhead that weighs almost as much as the whole NLAW itself, up to 4km effective range and much better accuracy thanks to actual smart IR homing guidance. The scope itself is a powerful optic system as good (or better) than vehicle-mounted systems.

    @Tomtom
    Range is indeed a factor as tanks will always be accompanied by infantry and weapons like NLAW and RPG7 are well within rifle ranges not to mention MGs and the tank cannon itself. We should not be relying on just shoulder launched weapons for antitank capability.

    Anyway it’s a good buy. I know I’m harping again on this subject and there are many things which are in urgent need of funding.

  12. Why can’t we standardized our anti tank weapons? We have so many variety.. baktar… this and that…

  13. “Why can’t we standardized our anti tank weapons? We have so many variety.. baktar… this and that…”
    Different tank needs different treatment…leopard tank cannot be kill by RPG or 84mm RR…so it needs bigger n better warhead…tandem…heavy warhead..we dont use heavy ATM on .softskin vehicle n apv that would be an overkill n waste of assets..its better of using anti material gun to stop these vehicles…etc etc..

    Reply
    A Leopard can be kill by RPGs, emphasis on the plural

  14. Kamikaze,

    Funny enough, every launchers and missile has its role. In fact, having a different number of missile capable of taking down multiple targets effectively rather than relying on one type of weapon.

    US has a javelin, yet they have the Mk 153 SMAW and the TOW. The Russians have variants of RPG but also has Kornet and Metis M in their inventory. Every weapon has it own definite role.

  15. “…The scope itself is a powerful optic system as good (or better) than vehicle-mounted systems.” read somewhere a US unit in Afgan used it to observe enemy,as it is the only one capable to see very far an enemy who liked to keep its distance in daylight.

  16. Actually the Carl Gustav is a multiple use weapon. The same weapon can now fire different types of ammunition. The traditional HE n anti tank shape charge round. New ammunition now consist of tandem warhead to defeat reactive armour n also fuel air mixture for its overpressure effects.

    Reply
    I believe we need to get the new CGs to be able to use the latest ammo

  17. The key difference between this and everything we have or have ordered is that it has a top attack function. Unlike Metis, it’s more compact and lighter; making it easier to lug around. How effective it will perform against an MBT with ERA, a APS and applique roof armour remains to be see however [one way of finding out would be to line Erawa on a large piece of 2 inch steel plate and fire NLAW at it but then again; Erawa is an older gen ERA]. Even if it penetration is no achieved it will still cause damage and perhaps destroys stuff like optics. Like Bill it has a proximity fuse but not sure if it also [like Bill] has a direct impact mode. Like Javelin it has a top attack function but can be set for the direct fire mode. Saab claims it has a 20 year storage life [I assume this only applicable if stored in a ”controlled environment”.

    Tom Tom – ”Is the short range going to be an issue?”

    To answer this, look at our terrain. The fact that a state on state war will likely take place in an urban setting or that any type of conflict is most likely to be in areas such as plantations or places like that; short to medium range is where most of the shots will occur. Sure, along highways and in other places long range shots can be taken but it won;t be the norm.

    kamikaze – ” We have so many variety.. baktar… this and that…”

    Ask the politicians who made the decisions. Eryx was an urgent buy for Bosnia, Bakhtar Shikan was bought for other reasons apart from its effectiveness and Metis [an ex army Major was pushing Kornet as an alternative] was bought at the same time period we bought Igla, Jernas and the G-5s.

    chua – ”there are many things which are in urgent need of funding.”

    Yes but what should or shouldn’t be in ”urgent” need of funding can depend on which service you ask, who’s in command and politics of the day. Given that Metis and Bakhtar are too heavy and cumbersome to be lugged around and are operated by AT Platoons belonging to Support Companies; there is a need for something compact and light enough to be operated by infantry units.

    Chua – ”The scope itself is a powerful optic system as good (or better) than vehicle-mounted systems.”

    In places such as Bosnia and Kosovo; TOW was deployed at fixed locations due to its sight being very suitable for surveillance/observation.

    Lee – ”Actually the Carl Gustav is a multiple use weapon. The same weapon can now fire different types of ammunition.”

    It was always able to fire ”different types of ammunition”. One useful function was to deploy smoke/illum.

  18. The next step will be to progressively add on to the initial number of NLAWs bought; to equip a few more units [I will assume that the initial batch will be for 10 Para. If we don’t do that and we end up buying something else; we’ll be in the same position as we’ve long been : having a bit of but not enough of anything …

    Redsot – ”leopard tank cannot be kill by RPG or 84mm RR…so it needs bigger n better warhead…tandem…heavy warhead..we dont use heavy ATM on .softskin vehicle n apv that would be an overkill n waste of assets..its better of using anti material gun to stop these vehicles…etc etc

    Depends on the Leopard variant and where it’s hit. Hit a olde gen or less protected Leopard more than once with a Carl Gustav, Vampir or Panzerfaust in a weak spot and it may penetrate. A anti-material rifle is useful in targeting anyone out of a hatch or stuff like optics but it won’t penetrate a MBT or even result in a mobility kill. The NLAW is a sort/medium range weapon; anything with a longer range or with a tandem warhead would be something not in the same category. At one time [in the mid-1990’s] it was reported in ADJ that Denel sold us a new FT-5 [based on the LRAC – which Indonesia has] variant with a tandem round. A Denel guy at DSA reused to discuss the issue with me and we’ve never seen FT-5 in service.

    Chua – ”But Javelin is a real tank-killer with a warhead that weighs almost as much as the whole NLAW itself”

    Maybe but NLAW looks more compact or less cumbersome than Javelin [making it more practical to lug around] and I’m sure costs much less. I’m not in the habit of quoting prices [as it depends on various factors] but Ross Kemp in his Afghanistan documentary mentions the Brits paying 20k Sterling for a Javelin round. Whether NLAW is a ”a real tank-killer” or not is subjective and irrelevant as it’s intended to complement something else.

    … – ”Any pros and cons using reusable instead of disposable systems?”

    Traditionally loadable weapons had a bigger ”bang” and were more accurate” [having better sights]; as well as requiring 2 to operate. We first saw this with Panzerfaust and Panzershreck; as well as ”Bazooka”. Then came stuff like Carl Gustav which had better penetrating ability, longer range and better accuracy compared to disposable rounds like the M72. Along the way came disposable but ”heavy”’ man portable rockets/RCLs like LAW 80, Apilas and Folgore.

    Today I guess it boils down to the need for certain types of units to be in need for a disposable system – as opposed to something heavier that might require a crew of 2 like Vampir or Panzerfaust. Some will decide they need both. It is telling that that the U.S. Rangers have held on to their Carl Gustav for decades and are even buying a new variant whilst others see no need for a loadable system at all.

    Dodo – ”Glad the boys got these instead of the javelin.”

    It’s like saying one doesn’t need AMRAAM if he already has Sidewinder. Both are needed as both complement each other. We already have longer range, heavier systems like Metis, Bakhtar Shikan and Ingwe – all are systems that can be lugged around but are not really ”man portable”. On paper now that we have NLAW we’ll need something with more range [i.e. Javelin and MMP] to bridge the gap but it depends on what the army wants. It may decide that a longer range ”man portable” system is not needed as it has Ingwe.

  19. Agreed wit Tuan Lee…i believe the latest CG is mark4…n atm is using mark2 or mark3…with the carrying handle…older version void of this carrying handle( permanent)but Tuan the CG itself is 16kg….xcluding night scope n accessories…the capabalitiy of the 2 man team can only carry 2 HE n 2 HEAT…after all ammo ar depleted u will be lugging the 84mm anywhere n everywhere oppose to the disposable units….

  20. @ marhalim

    If im not mistaken new rounds are compatible with all carl gustav launchers. The only advantage of the new one is its way lighter than the old one, and it has the automatic rounds counter, to keep track of the barrel life (which is 1,000 rounds).

    If not mistaken ours is the M2 version (14kg empty), while the latest version is M4 (7kg empty).

  21. @Azlan “I will assume that the initial batch will be for 10 Para”

    Heard gossip that this is mainly for GGK use and testing. I think few if any will be assigned to Paras. Probably this is a very small purchase.

    @… “So as of now we have
    – NLAW
    – INGWE
    – Baktar shikan
    – Metis-M”

    A note on these systems and their differences:

    NLAW is an unguided shoulder-launched disposable anti-tank weapon, optimised for tank-busting with an overfly top-attack warhead developed from the BILL. Range is up to 600m, weight 12.5kg. Commonly these are squad weapons assigned to rifle infantry.

    Metis-M is a crew-served SACLOS wire-guided anti-tank missile launcher. Range is up to 1.5km, weight 24kg including launcher, thermal sight, and 1 missile (14kg). Metis was designed to equip infantry company weapons platoons with a more powerful weapon than the RPG-7.
    Metis-M is a development of the Metis, but bigger and much heavier making infantry carry impractical. But it underperforms as a vehicle-mounted ATGM, hence the Russian army prefer the Konkurs or Kornet which have nearly three times longer range and better penetration. Malaysia purchased about 18-24 launchers and reportedly 100 missiles, and carries them on G-Wagons.

    Baktar-Shikan is a license-built Hongjian-8, China’s first attempt at a second-generation ATGM inspired by the TOW and Kornet. It is also SACLOS wire-guided, range up to 3km, weight estimated 25kg (missile weight 11kg). We bought 12 launchers mounted on the ACV Adnans.

    Ingwe is a semi-active laser beam-riding ATGM. It was designed for operations in the African bush, where SACLOS wires could snag and tear – this makes it ideal for the Malaysian jungle too. It was developed from allegedly stolen TOW specs, although thinner and longer. Range is 5km. The missile alone weighs 28.5kg. Malaysia mounts them on the AV-8 Gempita IFV ATGM variant with a planned purchase of 54 vehicles.

    As you can see, there are various antitank missiles in use by the ATM across a few different platforms. For comparison, a US infantry battalion would operate the following:

    -Disposable LAW or AT4 or BDM, issued at squad or platoon level
    -Javelin, issued to infantry company HQ platoon
    -TOW, issued to battalion weapons platoon, vehicle-mounted

    @… “C90 and RPG7 are basically rocket propelled granades while Carl Gustav is a recoiless rifle”

    Well… A rocket-propelled “grenade” is not a grenade, nor is a recoilless “rifle” necessarily rifled (though the CG is). Frankly the CG is more of a grenade than an RPG-7; an RPG fires a true rocket while the CG fires a shell – in fact its Swedish inventors call it a Granatgevar, “Grenade rifle”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.