The 84 mm reloadable weapon system is being upgraded through a partnership between Swedish defense firm Saab and their American partner Raytheon.
Test firings were already performed at the Mile High Range in Sierra Blanca, Texas, and at a Saab facility in Karlskoga, Sweden, on Sept. 25 and 26. Three munitions were fired in total during the Sweden tests. Two were fired against stationary targets and one against a moving target utilizing a semi-active laser for guidance.
“For the guided tests, there were actually 11 rounds fired total,” Raytheon spokesman Barry Edwards said, counting the rounds shot in Texas as well.
“Saab and Raytheon teamed to make the GCGM [Guided Carl-Gustaf Munition] a confined space round," Edwards added. “During these guided tests, four rounds were fired from enclosure meeting the customer’s requirements. Another good point of info, four of the rounds fired were against moving targets.”
Confined space rounds allow the 84 mm Carl-Gustaf to be fired from within the tighter quarters that often arise in urban warfare — a previously dangerous maneuver given the Carl-Gustaf’s propensity to cause shock wave and back blast injuries.
Other types of “seeking” technologies, like infrared imaging, were also demonstrated as potential solutions for the final product.
More tests will be done in the spring of 2020, as part of a U.S. Army contract issued last year to demonstrate a guided munition capability.
The guided Carl-Gustaf munitions are the “next step” in the system’s evolution, Görgen Johansson, head of Saab business area dynamics, said in a company press release.
“It will be the most advanced Carl-Gustaf munition yet and will offer greater precision, minimize collateral damage and deliver outstanding performance with pin-point accuracy and multi-target capability," Johansson said.
Raytheon and Saab advertise that their precision-guided munition will be able to penetrate light armor, bunkers and concrete structures, at extended ranges.
The current rounds have an advertised maximum range of 1,300 meters. But the new rounds will have a range of 2,000 meters — or up to 1.2 miles.
“This lightweight round will overmatch potential adversaries while decreasing collateral damage, making it an ideal weapon when fighting under restricted rules of engagement," said Sam Deneke, Raytheon’s land warfare systems vice president, in the press release.
Saab also makes the much lighter AT-4 recoilless weapon system, but that’s single-shot. The military found in places like Afghanistan that the heavier but re-loadable Carl-Gustaf was often preferred by troops.