The UK has ordered £229 million or $278.8 million worth of Next Generation Light Anti-Tank Weapon (NLAW) systems. The order follows the UK’s transfer of thousands of weapons to Ukraine to aid in the fight against Russia. The systems have played a prominent role and gained a reputation for being capable anti-armor weapons.
UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace announced that the NLAWs will be “assembled at Thales’ facility in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The UK has provided thousands of NLAWs to Ukraine to support the defence of their nation following Russia’s unprovoked and illegal invasion,” Wallace explained that “with NLAW, a single soldier can take out a heavily protected modern main battle tank from 20 to 800 metres away.”
The Ministry of Defence explained that agreement will see several thousand NLAWs delivered to the UK’s Armed Forces from 2024 to 2026. This comes in addition to around 500 being delivered in 2023 through a separate, earlier procurement.
Late last month Saab shared a video explaining the history, origins and operation of the NLAW – answering a common query: ‘is the NLAW British or Swedish?’ Saab noted that:
“As is so often the case, the truth lies somewhere in the middle… NLAW was designed by Saab in Sweden and is assembled in Belfast, Northern Ireland, by aeronautics company Thales, with components produced in a number of countries. The weapon came about as a result of the British Ministry of Defence (MOD) launching a program to source a Next Generation Light Anti-Tank Weapon (NLAW) in the 1990s.”
Regardless of the weapon’s origins the weapon has proven itself in Ukraine and Saab’s President and CEO Micael Johansson explained that: “Demand is increasing for anti-tank systems such as NLAW. We look forward to further strengthening our close relationship with the UK and are proud to continue delivering our proven and trusted anti-tank capability,”
The UK Ministry of Defence announced the news on their social media, re-sharing an earlier video about NLAW filmed with 1 Scots Guards while they were on exercise in Poland.