The Government of Canada has awarded Saab a contract valued at approximately C$227m ($168m) for the highly rated RBS 70 NG short-range air defence system.

The RBS 70 NG, known for its unjammable laser-beam guidance and auto-tracking technology, has garnered acclaim and has a diverse clientele across Brazil, the Czech Republic, and Latvia.

With deliveries set to commence in 2024, the agreement shows a step towards modernising Canada’s defence arsenal and reinforcing its operational preparedness on the global stage.

The decision to select Saab’s RBS 70 NG followed a competitive procurement process, wherein the Swedish defence giant emerged as the preferred vendor to fulfil Canada’s operational requirement under the Soldier Portable Air Defence System Programme. Designed to provide air defence support to the Canadian Armed Forces, the RBS 70 NG will play a role in augmenting Canada’s enhanced forward presence in Latvia, thereby bolstering NATO’s collective defence posture in the region.

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In 2022 the Latvian Ministry of Defence procured the ground based RBS 70 new generation (NG) very short-range air defence (VSHORAD) systems, as well as Giraffe 1X multi-mission radar systems from Saab.

Central to Saab’s winning bid was its commitment to fostering Canadian content through collaboration with domestic partners and suppliers. Saab aims to enhance job creation and stimulate economic growth within the Canadian defence industry by establishing a presence through its local office and engaging with Canada-based stakeholders.

“We are pleased to deliver our proven and efficient air defence solution RBS 70 NG, which is a critical capability for nations in the current environment,” remarked Saab president and CEO Micael Johansson.

The contractual agreement between Saab and the Government of Canada shows the strategic partnership between the two entities and underscores Canada’s commitment to advancing its defence capabilities in line with contemporary security challenges. As geopolitical dynamics evolve, investments in defence technologies like the RBS 70 NG are essential to safeguarding Canada’s sovereignty and upholding its national security interests in an ever-changing world.