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Pansarvärnsrobot 57 aka MTB LAW.jpg
TypeAnti-tank missile launcher
Place of originSweden
United Kingdom[1]
Service history
Used bySee Users
WarsYemeni Civil War (2015–present)[2]
Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen
Saudi–Yemeni border conflict (2015–present)
Production history
DesignerSaab Bofors Dynamics
DesignedMay 2002
ManufacturerThales Air Defence
Mass12.5 kg
Length1016 mm

Calibre150 mm Warhead
Muzzle velocity40 m/s to Subsonic
Effective firing range20 m to 600 m
Maximum firing range1000 m

The Main Battle Tank and Light Anti-tank Weapon (MBT LAW), also known as the NLAW, is a joint British and Swedish short-range fire-and-forget anti-tank missile system. Designed for use by infantry, the MBT LAW is shoulder fired and disposable, firing once before being disposed of. It is currently in use with the military forces of the United Kingdom, Finland, Luxembourg, and Sweden, among others.


The MBT LAW was developed by Saab Bofors Dynamics and Thales Air Defence in consolidation with the Ministry of Defence (United Kingdom) in 2002. The development is a joint venture between the UK and Sweden using technology derived from the BILL 2 (warhead and guidance), and AT4 CS (confined space capability) systems. The UK MoD Defence Procurement Agency will procure the systems for both the UK and Sweden, with Sweden signing a contract for the weapon in December 2005 where it will be designated the "RB (Robot) 57". It has been estimated that the UK requirement may be for up to 20,000 systems for the British Armed Forces and each system has a shelf life of around 20 years. In December 2007, Finland placed an order for an undisclosed number of NLAW systems. An additional (undisclosed) number was ordered in December 2008. It is a soft-launch system, allowing it to be used by infantry from within an enclosed space. In this system, the missile is first launched out of the launcher using a low powered ignition. After the missile travels several meters into flight, its main rocket ignition occurs, which propels the missile from there on, to the target. Guidance is obtained using predicted line of sight (PLOS); for a moving target, the gunner maintains tracking for three seconds, training the missile's guidance electronics to compute the target's angular speed. After launch the missile flies autonomously to the target adjusting the necessary corrections according to the data acquired by the tracking.[3] It is unnecessary for the gunner to consider the range to the target. After launch the missile's position in its trajectory always coincides with the target irrespective of range.[4]

The portable, short range, fire-and-forget system entered service in 2009 as the NLAW (Next Generation Light Anti-tank Weapon), to replace the British Army's existing LAW 80 system that had in UK's deployment reached its obsolescence, as well as the ILAW (AT4 CS) (Interim Lightweight Anti-tank Weapon), which was in deployment as a substitute for the period in which the MBT-LAW had yet to be deployed. Deliveries began in December 2009. In Finnish Defence Forces the NLAW complements the existing stock of LAW and Apilas rockets and Spike and TOW missiles; LAW is primarily intended against lighter armored vehicles, but a MBT in close range is engaged with both LAW and NLAW. LAW is stocked at Infantry platoon level, NLAW is stocked at Infantry company level.


NLAW Short-Range Anti-Tank-Guided Missile

Both launcher and missile development are carried out at Saab Bofors Dynamics facilities at Eskilstuna and Karlskoga in Sweden using the expertise gained on anti-armour systems such as the Carl Gustav recoilless rifle, the AT4 CS confined spaces weapon and the Bill anti-tank missile. Thales Air Defence is the major UK partner and contributor to the program, leading Team MBT LAW which includes 14 UK subcontractors for the manufacture of the weapon system and its components. Final assembly and testing is carried out at the Thales Air Defence facilities in Belfast. The missile's inertial measurement unit (IMU) is manufactured by Collins Aerospace in Plymouth. Eaton Ltd, based in South Molton, is responsible for the manufacture of the control fins and actuators. Raytheon Systems Limited based in Glenrothes, and Thales Missile Electronics based in Basingstoke, manufacture electronics assemblies and the systems proximity fuse. National Plastics Aerospace based in Coventry, is responsible for the plastic and composite mouldings. Skeldings, based in Smethwick, manufacture the system's special purpose springs. Express Engineering of Gateshead, Portsmouth Aviation, EPS Logistics Technology, Leafield Engineering of Bristol and Metalweb in Birmingham are also major partners in the MBT LAW consortium.[5]


Soldier aiming a practice NLAW.
  • Weight: 12.5 kg
  • Length: 1.016 m
  • Caliber: 115/150 mm [1]
  • Muzzle velocity:
    • Initial: 40 m/s
    • Maximum: High Subsonic: 200 m/s (Mach 0.7)
  • Range:[6]
    • Minimum: 20 m
    • Maximum: 600 m
  • Guidance: Predicted Line Of Sight (PLOS) / inertial guidance
  • Sight: Trijicon TA41 NLAW 2.5x20 which has V crosshair (inverted to normal acog /\ crosshair)
  • Warhead: Combined overfly top attack / direct
  • Cost : approximately £20,000 (2008)[7]
  • Operational temperature: -38 to +63 °C [6]


Map with MBT LAW operators in blue

Current operators[edit]

British soldier with NLAW

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Army Technology - MBT LAW Light Anti-Tank Weapon[unreliable source?]
  2. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVCt5ou763o
  3. ^ "Defence Update - Miniaturization of the Infantry Weapons' Components".
  4. ^ "MBT LAW Light Anti-Tank Weapon". Army Technology.
  5. ^ "Miniaturization of the Infantry Weapons' Components". Defence Update.
  6. ^ a b "NLAW". SAAB.
  7. ^ Great Britain: National Audit Office (18 December 2008). Major Projects Report 2008: Project Summary Sheets (PDF). The Stationery Office. p. 92. ISBN 978-0102954500.
  8. ^ Finnish Defence Forces homepage
  9. ^ Finnish Defence Forces - overview for 102 RSLPSTOHJ NLAW
  10. ^ TNI AD Membeli ATGM NLAW dan ATGM JAVELIN 1
  11. ^ Indonesia Akan Beli Senjata Anti Tank dari Inggris
  12. ^ "Uji Terima Senjata Anti Tank NLAW Produk Inggris". March 21, 2013.
  13. ^ [1]
  14. ^ Abas, Marhalim (2018-07-26). "NLAW For The Army". Malaysian Defence. Retrieved 2018-07-28.
  15. ^ SEK 500M Order from Sweden for RB 57 NLAW - Defense Industry Daily
  16. ^ "Next Generation Light Anti-Tank Weapon (NLAW)". Defence Update.
  17. ^ Saab snags $120M Swiss contract for its next-gen anti-tank weapon - Defensenews.com, 28 June 2017
  18. ^ Hansard Archived November 3, 2013, at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]