The UK defense ministry has awarded a £229 million (approx. $279M) contract to Saab for further deliveries of Next Generation Light Anti-Tank Weapon (NLAW) systems.
Assembled at Thales’ facility in Belfast, Northern Ireland, the additional anti-tank weapons are set to be delivered between 2023 and 2026.
The UK is ordering the NLAW from Saab as it continues to send these systems to Ukraine, which uses them to help defend against the Russian invasion.
In April this year, the UK defense ministry signed a contract with Sweden’s defense procurement agency FMV for accelerated accelerated NLAW deliveries. This contract will see the British Army receive around 500 NLAWs in 2023.
“These next generation light anti-tank weapons have played a decisive role in supporting Ukraine’s army to drive back Russia’s illegal invading forces,” UK defense secretary Ben 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 the coming years, whilst supporting UK jobs across the length and breadth of the country.”
NLAW is a shoulder-launched missile system that attacks a tank from above. It combines the simplicity of light anti-armor weapons with the advantages of heavy, crew-operated guided missile systems. With NLAW, a single soldier can take out a heavily protected modern main battle tank from 20 to 800 meters away.
It is as a result of this agility, reliability and accuracy that the NLAW has been an important capability in Ukraine’s fight back against Russia’s illegal invasion, making up part of the 10,000 anti-tank weapons the UK has supplied to the Ukrainian armed forces.