British troops in Lithuania demonstrating NLAW anti-tank weapon, which the UK is sending to Ukraine 09032022 CREDIT BFBS_0.jpg
In March, British troops in Lithuania were demonstrating the Nlaw anti-tank weapon.

Thousands of 'tank-killer' Nlaws ordered to bolster UK stockpiles following Ukraine support

British troops in Lithuania demonstrating NLAW anti-tank weapon, which the UK is sending to Ukraine 09032022 CREDIT BFBS_0.jpg
In March, British troops in Lithuania were demonstrating the Nlaw anti-tank weapon.

The UK has ordered thousands more of the anti-tank Nlaw weapons that have proved so effective in Ukraine's fight against the Russian invasion.

Thousands of the new anti-tank weapons will be assembled in Northern Ireland and delivered to the British Army, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has announced.

A £229m deal has been agreed with Saab for the Next Generation Light Anti-Tank Weapon (Nlaw) systems, described by their Swedish manufacturer as "tank-killers", which are assembled at Thales' facility in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

The UK has provided thousands of Nlaws to Ukraine to support the defence of the nation – with Nlaw, a single soldier can take out a heavily protected modern main battle tank from 20 to 800 metres away.

Nlaw is a shoulder-launched missile system that attacks a tank from above, combining the simplicity of light anti-armour weapons with the advantages of heavy, crew-operated guided missile systems.

It has been an important capability in Ukraine's fight back against Russia's invasion, making up part of the 10,000 anti-tank weapons the UK has supplied to the Ukrainian armed forces.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: "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.

"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."

The UK has committed £2.3bn in military aid to Ukraine, more than any country other than the US.

Watch: Ukraine "will achieve their military objectives" providing the West continue to contribute.

The UK's Ukraine support so far:

  • More than 10,000 anti-tank missiles (including Nlaw, Javelin, Brimstone, and other anti-tank weapons)  
  • Multiple Launch Rocket Systems  
  • Almost 200 armoured vehicles  
  • Six Stormer vehicles fitted with Starstreak launchers, along with hundreds of missiles  
  • Maritime Brimstone missiles  
  • AMRAAM missiles, which can shoot down cruise missiles, for use with the US NASAMS air defence system  
  • Almost 100,000 rounds of artillery ammunition, nearly three million rounds of small arms ammunition, 2,600 anti-structure munitions and 4.5 tonnes of plastic explosive  
  • More than 82,000 helmets, 8,450 sets of body armour, medical supplies and more than 5,000 night-vision devices.  
  • More than 28 M109 155mm self-propelled guns  
  • Thirty-six L119 105mm artillery guns and ammunition  
  • More than 2,000 unmanned aerial systems (including hundreds of loitering aerial munitions)  
  • Six autonomous underwater mine-hunting vehicles  
  • ARTHUR Counter-battery radar systems
  • Communications equipment  
  • Electronic warfare equipment  
  • Medical equipment  
  • 25,000 sets of winter clothing  
  • More than 120 logistics vehicles  
  • Additional 1,000 surface-to-air missiles 
  • Sea king helicopters 
  • 125 anti-aircraft guns 
  • Counter-drone capabilities 
Watch: In July, Ben Wallace said the Nlaw supply could not keep up with demand.

Key points of the deal

  • The UK has given 10,000 anti-tank weapons
  • Five hundred are already on order for next year
  • The UK's Armed Forces has now ordered "several thousand" more for the following three years
  • The deal comes nine months after the Ukraine conflict began.

Responding to news that the Ministry of Defence (MOD) has signed a contract to replace Nlaw anti-tank missiles donated to Ukraine, Shadow Defence Secretary John Healey said: "Two hundred and eighty-seven days after Putin's invasion Ministers have finally got their act together to sign a contract for restocking the Nlaw anti-tank weapons which have been vital to Ukraine.

"But the first new Nlaws still won't be delivered until two years after the invasion, and it's not clear when the MOD will sign contracts to restock other weapons and ammunition needed for the British Army and to support Ukraine.

"With threats increasing, the Conservatives' broken military procurement system continues to risk the delivery of the equipment our Armed Forces need to fight and fulfil our Nato obligations," he added.

Join Our Newsletter


How is Estonia dealing with heightened Russian threat to its security?

RAF airman John Nichol's life-saving decision to eject from burning Tornado jet

Tough three-day course BEFORE starting Royal Marine Commando training