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Army Orders More Carl Gustaf Recoilless Rifles

The Army just awarded a $31 million contract to the Swedish defense company Saab for more Multi-Role Anti-Armor Anti-Personnel Weapon Systems, UPI is reporting.

Also known as the M3 Carl Gustaf, the 84mm recoilless rifle has long been a favorite of Special Operations Forces for its ability to destroy enemy targets out to 1,000 meters.

The Army fielded 58 M3s and 1,500 rounds of ammunition to units in Afghanistan late last year after commanders complained that their disposable AT4s were ineffective at engaging the enemy at long ranges.

 It's still unclear how many M3s and ammo the $31 million will buy.

"This is another great milestone for Saab and the Carl-Gustaf system," said Tomas Samuelsson, senior vice president and head of Saab's Dynamics business area Dynamics business area, according to UPI. "This new order demonstrates the continued belief by the customer in the capabilities and versatility of our product."

The M3 has enjoyed success with units such as the 25th Infantry, 10th Mountain and 82nd Airborne divisions in Afghanistan. The launcher weighs approximately 22 pounds with each round of ammunition weighing just under 10 pounds. There is an effort to lighten the load of the rifle by five to six pounds, Army officials say. By comparison, the AT4 weighs about 15 pounds and the Javelin’s launcher with missile and reusable command launch unit weigh roughly 50 pounds.

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