Saab Defense unveiled the latest version of its Carl Gustaf 84mm weapon system today at AUSA 2014.
The new M4 Multipurpose Weapon System is about 30 percent lighter than the current M3 Multi-role Anti-armor Anti-tank Weapon System being used by special operators and conventional infantry in Afghanistan.
The M4 – known in the U.S. as M3A1 MAAWS, is the latest man-portable shoulder-launched recoilless rifle from Saab designed to provide users with flexible capability and help troops to remain agile in any scenario, Saab officials maintain.
The 75th Ranger Regiment and other special operations forces began using the M3 MAAWS in 1991. The U.S. Army began ordering the M3 for conventional infantry units to use in Afghanistan in 2011. The M3 weighs 22 pounds and measures 42 inches long. The breech-loading M3 can reach out and hit enemy targets up to 1,000 meters away.
The new M3A1 is significantly lighter and shorter than the M3. It weighs 15 pounds and measures 39 3/8 inches long. The weight savings comes from a titanium liner and carbon-fiber wrapping, Saab officials maintain.
The new system is also more ergonomic and features a cable system running along the top of the weapon to make it compatible with future battlefield technology such as intelligent sighting systems for programmable ammunition, according to Saab officials.
“We have listened over the past 10 year for what the warfighter has asked for -- ergonomics, better railing system, lighter weight, longer range,” said Saab field director Jack Seymour at the Association of the United States Army's 2014 annual meeting and exposition. Seymour also served as an Army Special Forces soldier from 1996 to 2010.
“The Carl GustaF is actually a perfect fit for this type of conflict or future conflicts in any environment whether it be inside a building, vehicles, bunkers, troops in the open with airburst munitions … commanders can literally build the mission around the weapon.”