The recently signed framework contract has a duration of three years and gives the US Army the opportunity to place orders for Carl-Gustaf M4 systems for a total value of about US$19 million. The system has been regularly modernised and enhanced to meet users’ changing needs. The latest version, the Carl-Gustaf M4 (designated M3E1 in the US), reduces the launcher weight from 10 kilograms to less than seven kilograms, among several other significant improvements.
Görgen Johansson, head of Saab business area dynamics, welcomed the announcement, saying, "This agreement is the result of many years of great co-operation between Saab and the US government. The order clearly demonstrates the confidence that the user has both in the capability of the Carl-Gustaf system as well as in Saab as a supplier."
The 84mm recoilless rifle is a combat-proven system capable of operating in demanding environments that provides soldiers with clear overmatch capability needed to dominate in the battlespace.
A marked evolution in the history of the system, the new M4 model meets the needs of modern conflict environments while offering compatibility with future innovations. Its new features include:
- Lighter: Builds upon the success of its predecessor by offering an even shorter length and a weight of less than seven kilograms;
- Intelligent sight: Compatible with intelligent sight systems, ensuring maximum effect in any tactical situation;
- Improved economics: Overall improved ergonomics enables soldiers to adjust the weapon to suit them. Includes an adjustable shoulder rest and front grip;
- Reduced action time: Unit can be carried loaded to enable the user to act faster; and
- Round counter: Integrated shot counter for improved logistics and maintenance.
Erik Smith, president and CEO of Saab Defence and Security USA, expanded on Johansson's statement: "The Carl-Gustaf has been a force multiplier and the support weapon of choice for US Special operations forces for many years."
Since it was introduced in 1948, the Carl-Gustaf Weapon System has been used to support dismounted infantry all over the world. The new Carl-Gustaf M4 weapon is fully backwards compatible with all ammunition types and prepared to take full advantage of future ammunition, while being significantly lower weight than its M3 predecessor.
"With the system now being fielded to light infantry units in multiple theatres and now to the US Marines as well, the game changing capabilities of this weapon system and the flexibility provided by the multiple munition types available to the operator will deliver even greater value to the American warfighter," Smith added.