Swedish defence company, Saab, revealed the final version of its MSHORAD air defence system in March 2022. Credit: Saab AB.
The short-range air defence system is designed to deal with a range of aerial threats over the battlefield. Credit: Saab AB.
MSHORAD is equipped with Giraffe 1X 3D radar and RBS 70 NG missile system. Credit: Saab AB.
The ground-based air defence system has a detection range of 75km and an interception range of 9km. Credit: Saab AB.
The MSHORAD system can be easily integrated into a wide range of vehicles. Credit: Saab AB.
RBS 70 NG missile system of the air defence system can operate day and night. Credit: Saab AB.

The Mobile Short-Range Air Defence (MSHORAD) is a compact air defence solution developed by Swedish aerospace and defence company, Saab. The company revealed the finalised version of the air defence system in March 2022.

The MSHORAD air defence system comprises a Giraffe 1X multi-mission 3D radar and a mobile firing unit equipped with RBS 70 NG short-range missiles. The radar and weapon systems are coordinated by Saab’s ground-based air defence (GBAD) command and control (C2) system.

The system is designed to identify and deter a wide range of air threats, including those from fighter jets, armed helicopters, missiles and rockets, artillery and mortars, as well as the newer threats posed by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and loitering munitions.

MSHORAD design and features

Saab’s ground-based air defence system, MSHORAD, comes with advanced radar and remote weapon systems to enable swift and effective identification and countering of air threats over the battlefield.

It is small and portable, but its modular design allows for easy installation onto any vehicle platform, making it a highly mobile and formidable air defence system with multi-role capabilities.

MSHORAD is designed to move alongside ground-based combat units and provide persistent protection and defence against multiple aerial threats within an effective interception range of 9km. It can detect multiple targets and react and strike fast enough to neutralise air threats up to 5km above ground level.

After threat evaluation and weapon assignment by the GBAD C2 system, the missiles of the air defence system can be engaged in less than five seconds to eliminate multiple targets.

MSHORAD is rapidly deployable. As well as being integrated into a wide range of vehicles, it can also operate from the top of buildings, offering an additional operational advantage.

MSHORAD is meant to ride behind forces, providing constant protection and defence in a shifting battle zone.

Giraffe 1X radar system details

The Giraffe 1X is a compact and high-performance multi-mission 3D radar mainly used in short-range surveillance and surface-to-air defence. It is an active electronically scanned array radar featuring gallium nitride circuits.

The radar has 360° coverage and offers up to 75km of situational awareness. It can quickly detect and target the most challenging UAV threats, including drones that are low, slow and small. The radar can detect a UAV lighter than a milk carton from 4km away.

Command and control system

The data collected by the radar system is sent to the C2 system, which compiles and coordinates the local air picture. It identifies, classifies and evaluates air threats, calculating the time-to-fire, and assigns weapons accordingly. The system is also designed to conduct an after-action review after the missiles are fired.

Details of RBS 70 NG missile system

The RBS 70 NG missile system is based on the RBS 70 short-range surface-to-air missile system. It features laser-guided unjammable missiles with automatic target tracking and multi-target capabilities. The missiles are difficult for enemies to intercept.

Once data is received, the RBS 70 NG’s missiles can fire within five seconds.

The missile system can operate day and night and can be rapidly reloaded on the field. The most recent version of the system includes an automated target tracker and a built-in night sight.

RBS 70 NG is used by countries including Sweden, the Czech Republic and Brazil. It has been serving the Swedish Armed Forces since 1977.

Tests and demonstrations of MSHORAD air defence system

Five successful live firings of the system were demonstrated in August 2022 in Karlskoga, Sweden. MSHORAD identified, tracked and engaged several targets during the firings.

Saab conducted successful system integration and test firings of the MSHORAD system between March 2021 and March 2022, in co-operation with Czech defence company SVOS.

SVOS’ modular armoured vehicle, MARS, was used to conduct MSHORAD’s live firing demonstrations.

Saab showcased MSHORAD for the first time at Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI), an international defence exhibition held in London, UK, in 2017.

The system was also exhibited at Eurosatory, a weapons industry trade fair in Paris, France, in 2018.  It was followed by the air defence system’s display at CANSEC, Canada’s largest security and defence exhibition, held in 2019.

Orders and deliveries

In January 2024, Saab was awarded a Skr300m ($28.83m) contract for its MSHORAD solution by the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration. The Swedish Armed Forces will deploy the system in two configurations, both of which will be installed into the BvS10 armoured vehicle.

Saab signed an agreement with an undisclosed western country for the supply of several defence systems including the RBS 70 NG missile system and the Giraffe 1X radar under a Skr8bn order in February 2023. Deliveries are expected to conclude by 2026.

Saab received orders for the RBS 70 NG missile system and the Giraffe 1X radar from the Latvian Ministry of Defence in December 2022.