Saab has received an order for RBS 70 BOLIDE missiles from Irish Defence Forces, the total order value is approximately €5.8 million and deliveries will take place in 2019-2022. 

The firm say in a release that Ireland has been a RBS 70 customer for more than 30 years; this order contains the BOLIDE missile, which is latest missile available for the RBS 70 system.

“With this order Ireland continues to improve their air defence capability. The BOLIDE missile is our most advanced RBS 70 missile yet, with a top speed of Mach 2 and an effective range for up to 9000 meters, it provides excellent protection for their forces and a deterrent to opponents”, says Görgen Johansson, Head of Saab business area Dynamics.

BOLIDE was introduced to the RBS 70. The BOLIDE missile is an RBS 70 Mk 2 upgrade that is faster (Mach 2 vs Mach 1.6), with a range up to 8km (5.0mi) and can reach an altitude of 5 km. Deliveries were initiated in 2005.

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Seems like a bit of an old stories as it mentions deliveries in 2005, not that it makes a difference to my point of Thales making an arguably superior missile in Belfast you’d think they would try supporting their neighbours (that they care so much about) North of the border.


Just what I was wondering, not so much the same-landmass aspect but why Thales/Starstreak didn’t get the order based on capability. Is it too expensive? Is it not better, or has some significant disadvantage that other advantages vs the Saab offering couldn’t outweigh?


I understand they don’t buy the other product originally because until a few years ago there was concern about units being stolen and falling into the wrong hands and few years the US advised they couldn’t guarantee the UK wouldn’t withhold sales in the future whereas Saab which has a high US content are unlikely to do so. Now the ROI understands the Saab system so the performance benefits over cost are negligible.


Not really, while we’ve had the older models this is just pointing out that we’ve ordered new units.

As to not buying from Belfast, the RBS 70 has been in service in the Irish Army since ’81 so predating Starstreak coming into service, and it makes sense given the invested costs already that the Army stays with the same hardware.

There’s also the historic political point of them coming from a “neutral” nation of Sweden.

Glenn fox

I agree Ireland should support jobs north of the border. But it can’t be at the cost of value to the Irish tax payer. Ireland already owns the system, the contract is for munitions only. Cost of s new system would be unnecessary and a waste of a good existing system.


Mean while in the RN the sea venom anti-ship missile will be delayed by 12 months due to technical issues.

Cam Hunter

So Sea venoms not going to be ready for 2020 then! I’m sure we have plenty Sea Skuas left if we need them.


I don’t believe that Sea skua is usable from Wildcat so effectively it’s not deployable.

David E Flandry

If Sea Skua was usable from the Sea Lynx it should be usable from Wildcat, which is just an outgrowth of Lynx and Sea Lynx. If not please explain why(avionics, weight, etc.)


Hi David, only 5% of the components are common between the Lynx and the Wildcat, it’s fundamentally a different aircraft with a common design pedigree, as such it can’t just use a legacy weapon from a different aircraft without full integration, sea skua was not integrated into Wildcat (don’t ask me why) and the plan was to dispose it at the same time as Lynx.

Cam Hunter

I thought Ireland didn’t give a flack about air defence, you know with Britain Defending the republics airspace aswell. Time for Ireland to defend itself I say! Let Putin fly his bombers close to ROI airspace and watch then cry for RAF help.


In fairness it’s in our interest to proactively protect our Western flank, I wouldn’t want to wait until Russian bombers were over the Irish sea to intercept.


Interesting acquisition….who is the perceived enemy????

Steve Taylor

The Irish perform a lot of UN peace keeping duties. Imagine they are in a God foresaken hole and one of the combatants has helicopters or light planes or even perhaps biggish drones. UN troops do get shot at for real. Perhaps the most famous battle fought by the Irish army was on a UN mission.

Google, Siege of Jadotville

Chris J

Google, Siege of Jadotville

It’s also a great film, not sure how accurate the film is compared to reality but I highly recommend it.


My information from first hand witnesss is that the film Seige of Jadotville is far removed from what was the reality.


The first purchase was for air defence at our High Security prison due to IRA threats, they are still deployed in the prison even today AFAIK.

Harry Bulpit

Why? Irelands military is only equipped for peace keeping operations and has no real warfighting capacity. If its their own airspace they want to defend then shorley a few jets would make for a better investment.


Far more expensive all round

Harry Bulpit

But more practical. Say they have an aircraft that may just need escorting.


I’d agree, a much better alternative but the cost, as ever, rather than need is the decider.


Do you have any idea how small the DF budget is? Jets aren’t a viable spend unless we went back to Pre GFA spending levels.

David Steeper

Harry can you imagine the cost of setting up all the facilities and training costs from zero required for say a dozen Gripens ? Even my eyes are watering !


Ireland knows in a real war Russian bears would be getting nowhere near Ireland and if they did they wouldnt be able to do much about it with a single squadron, so why bother having one at all.
The problem is if one of these 50 year old Russian planes crash landed on Ireland’s coast there is a good change it will be carrying a nuclear payload. Imagine cleaning up that mess.


Nah…a few ex RAF secondhand Eurofighters. With training and support from Britain….well within Ireland’s capabilities.


Not on the DF’s current budget.

Harry Bulpit

Ireland already has modern airbases, and airdefence infustructure and theres plenty of private contractors to provide fast air training. Ireland is not a poor country.


I think you’re confusing airport with airbase…..

The ROI has zero modern airbases. And they have zero modern airdefence infrastructure.


There is an airbase either in Shannon or beside Shannon that the US use to refuel their B-5’s2. I’d assuming if the ROI wanted to station a squadron of interceptor jets there it wouldn’t be an issue.

Chris J

The US use Shannon Airport to refuel. AFAIK there isn’t another airbase in Ireland.


Ah no mate, the US uses Shannon for supply transports/troop transfer, there’s never been operational usage of B52’s out of Ireland.


What would be better is if we just charged them an annual fee to account for cost of fuel and maintenance, spare parts, then also allowing for wear & tear etc.

Cheaper for them and the RAF gets a little extra cash. Even if just to cover the cost of Irish air defence. Ideally maybe a little extra!

No different from the Americans paying a lease for their UK bases.

Harry Bulpit

Sounds interesting


Probably funded through the EU, in other words by the UK…


Or probably not…


Aye, that awful EU, eh ? At fault for everything.


Nope, the EU hasn’t funded Irish purchases in years.


Russian Bears or any other bomber, can stand off 1,000s of miles away & pepper us with cruise & other missiles, even if only conventionally armed. The UK urgently needs ABM systems in place.

This MANPADS is a good addition to protectring Irish troops deployed in global peacekeeping.

P tattersall

With got the land ceptor .


I keep forgetting Ireland has its own defense forces.


Have done for nearly a hundred years now in case you missed it.


Probably keep forgetting that Ireland isn’t part of the UK as well!! Typical brits

Cam Hunter

You retard, Ireland was part of the UK and Ireland is still in the British isles, but now we British only have Northern Ireland but its still Ireland you retard. ??

Thomas White

Yeah once the word gets out that Ireland have bought over €5000000 worth, ( which is how many ?????. ) of these missile launchers, we can rrst assured we wont be attacked by air.