Saab has received an order for Carl-Gustaf ammunition and AT4 systems from the U.S. Army. The order was placed within an indefinite delivery and quantity agreement signed in 2019, enabling the customer to place orders for Carl-Gustaf ammunition and AT4 systems during a five-year period to a value of up to USD 445 million. The AT4 systems and the Carl-Gustaf munitions in this order will be operated by the U.S. Army, Marine Corps, and Special Forces Command. The order value is approximately USD 100 million (930 MSEK) and deliveries will take place in 2021.
The Saab family of shoulder-fired munitions provides the U.S. Armed Forces with effective capabilities against a wide area of targets. With these systems, soldiers and Marines gain reliable, easy-to-use technology optimized for complex environments and engagements. Since 1987, Saab has delivered more than 600,000 AT4s, both directly and under license, to the U.S. Armed Forces. The Carl-Gustaf system has been a program of record in the U.S. since 2013 and in 2018 the U.S. Army announced it would acquire the latest version of the system – the Carl-Gustaf M4.
The Carl Gustaf recoilless rifle is an 84-mm man-portable reusable anti-tank weapon produced by Saab Bofors Dynamics (formerly Bofors Anti-Armour AB) in Sweden. Introduced in 1946, it was one of the many recoilless rifle designs of that era. While similar weapons have generally disappeared from service, the Carl Gustaf is still being made and remains in widespread use today. The Carl Gustaf is a lightweight, low-cost weapon that uses a wide range of ammunition, which makes it extremely flexible and suitable for a wide variety of roles.
Compared to the M3, the M4 (designated M3E1 in the U.S.) is 3.4 kg (7.5 lb) lighter, weighing 6.6 kg (15 lb), and shorter with a 950 mm (37 in) overall length. Compared to the M3 MAAWS, the M4 is 3.4 kg (7.5 lb) lighter, weighing 6.6 kg (15 lb), and shorter with a 950 mm (37 in) overall length. Other new features include a red-dot sight, a travel safety catch to allow the M4 to be carried while loaded, an adjustable shoulder rest and forward grip for improved ergonomics, picatinny rails for grips and sight mounts.
The AT4 is an 84-mm unguided, portable, single-shot recoilless smoothbore anti-tank weapon built in Sweden by Saab Bofors Dynamics (previously Bofors Anti-Armour Systems). Saab has had considerable sales success with the AT4, making it one of the most common light anti-tank weapons in the world. The AT4 is intended to give infantry units a means to destroy or disable armoured vehicles and fortifications, although it is generally ineffective against current modern main battle tanks (MBT). The launcher and projectile are manufactured prepacked and issued as a single unit of ammunition.
The AT4 may be considered a disposable, low-cost alternative to a Carl Gustaf recoilless rifle. The AT4 took many of its design features from the Carl Gustaf, where the forward inertia of the projectile is balanced by the inertia of propellant gases ejecting from the rear of the barrel. But unlike the Carl Gustaf, which uses a heavier and more expensive steel tube with rifling, the disposable AT4 design greatly reduces manufacturing costs by using a reinforced smoothbore fiberglass outer tube. Being a disposable gun also allows for lighter and cheaper construction.