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Army Rushes M3A1 Recoilless Rifles to Afghanistan

The U.S. Army has approved a requirement for 1,111 M3E1 Multi-Role Anti-Armor Anti-Personnel Weapon Systems, or MAAWS. Photo: U.S. Army.
The U.S. Army has approved a requirement for 1,111 M3E1 Multi-Role Anti-Armor Anti-Personnel Weapon Systems, or MAAWS. Photo: U.S. Army.

The U.S. Army is rushing 1,000 new M3E1 Multi-Role Anti-Armor Anti-Personnel Weapon Systems, or MAAWS, to Afghanistan, according to Scout Warrior.

The M3E1 is the latest version of the 84mm Carl Gustaf recoilless rifle that special operations forces have been using since the early 1990s. It’s lighter, shorter and more ergonomically designed.

The Army is fast-tracking acquisition of more than 1,000 upgraded, lightweight shoulder-fired weapons able to destroy enemy targets hidden behind rocks, trees and buildings, service officials told Scout Warrior.

As KitUp previously reported, the Army has approved a requirement for 1,111 M3E1 Multi-Role Anti-Armor Anti-Personnel Weapon Systems, or MAAWS.

The M3E1 is part of the Product Manager Crew Served Weapons portfolio, which is processing a contract to procure 1,111 M3E1s and an Urgent Material Release to field them as soon as possible.

The service announced in May of 2016 that it planned to permanently assign the devastating anti-armor weapon to infantry platoons.

Army light infantry units began using the M3 in Afghanistan in 2011 when the AT4 proved ineffective. The breech-loading weapon, made by Saab North America, can reach out and hit enemy targets up to 1,000 meters away. The M3 offers the units various types of ammunition, ranging from armor penetration and anti-personnel, to ammunition for built-up areas, as well as special features like smoke and illumination.

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