The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has finalised a deal with Swedish company Saab to procure next-generation light anti-tank weapons (NLAW).

Valued at approximately £229m, the deal will replenish the country’s stockpiles and was negotiated by the MoD’s procurement arm Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S).

As part of the contract, Saab will deliver several thousand units of shoulder-launched anti-tank weapons that will be used by the British Army soldiers.

Delivery of the weapon systems is expected to take place between 2024 and 2026. Once delivered, the systems will be assembled at Thales’ facility in Belfast, Northern Ireland, before being handed over to the UK Armed Forces.

An additional 500 NLAWs are also being delivered to the UK in 2023 as part of a separate procurement deal.

The signing of this agreement comes days after UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace met with his Swedish and Finnish counterparts during a Northern Group meeting in Oslo.

Wallace said: “Working with our first-class industry partners, we are continuing to fulfil our commitment to NATO by ensuring our Armed Forces will receive a steady supply of these weapons over coming years whilst supporting UK jobs across the length and breadth of country.”

Britain has been providing anti-tank systems to enhance the capabilities of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in their fight against the Russian invasion.

Earlier in July, the UK confirmed a military assistance package to Ukraine, comprising of more than 5,000 NLAW missile systems.

This shoulder-launched, crew-operated guided-missile system allows a soldier to strike a heavily protected main battle tank from a distance of approximately 20m to 800m. 

The country aims to continue delivering support for Ukraine while gradually replacing munitions/equipment granted from the UK’s stocks.