LONDON — Saab’s Carl-Gustaf M4 is the latest version in a series of shoulder-fired launchers in production since shortly after World War II and the U.S. Army wants to buy over 1,000 of the systems.
The U.S. Army announced earlier this month that it plans to rapidly procure and field the latest variant as soon as possible and was processing the contract for 1,111 of the weapon systems.
Compared to previous versions of the launcher, which the U.S. Army has had in its inventory since the early 1990s, the new system is shorter, lighter and has handles designed to be adjusted based on the shooter’s height and build, which makes for a more comfortable fit, Petter Grabbe, a technical sales representative at Saab, told Defense News at DSEI, a defense conference in London.
Moreover, the latest variant of Carl-Gustaf, which weighs roughly 15 pounds and is made from titanium, is reusable, he added.
The U.S. Army’s current system has to be thrown away after a single shot is fired, according to the service.
The system can also accommodate roughly 10 types of ammunition to suit different types of missions, according to Saab. Among the weapon system’s capabilities are taking out enemy tanks, eliminating obstacles and providing fire support, Grabbe noted. The recoilless system is also safe to fire inside a building.
Jen Judson is the land warfare reporter for Defense News. She has covered defense in the Washington area for 10 years. She was previously a reporter at Politico and Inside Defense. She won the National Press Club's best analytical reporting award in 2014 and was named the Defense Media Awards' best young defense journalist in 2018.