The guided Carl-Gustaf® munition is a laser-guided weapon co-developed by Raytheon and the Swedish aerospace and defense company Saab. Raytheon and Saab began developing the munition in 2016 and expect to test a live round in 2020. It is the first-ever guided round for Saab’s Carl-Gustaf M4 recoilless rifle, minimizing collateral damage through semi-active laser guidance and effects. The munition flies at near-supersonic speeds and can penetrate multiple targets including fortified structures, bunkers and light armored vehicles. It can engage static or moving targets at distances greater than 1.2 miles (2,000 meters), and it launches from a shoulder-fired system, allowing troops to engage from within an enclosure.
In 2017, Raytheon announced its partnership with Saab to develop new weapons for infantry forces. Initially, the team will upgrade the Carl-Gustaf reloadable shoulder-launched weapon system and explore opportunities to enhance Saab’s AT4 disposable weapon system to meet near-term U.S. and international requirements. The upgraded weapon systems will give U.S. and coalition dismounted forces overmatch capabilities against enemy threats on the battlefield. In 2019, Raytheon and Saab successfully completed a series of guided flight tests for the shoulder-launched, guided Carl-Gustaf® munition. Tests were conducted at Saab’s Bofors Test Center in Karlskoga, Sweden, and at Mile High Range in Sierra Blanca, Texas.
The Carl Gustaf recoilless rifle is an 84-mm man-portable reusable anti-tank weapon produced by Saab Bofors Dynamics 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. The basic weapon consists of the main tube with the breech-mounted Venturi recoil damper, with two grips near the front and a shoulder mount.
The Carl-Gustaf recoilless rifle is in use by the U.S. Army and the militaries of 40 other countries. In Sweden, it is officially called the Grg m/48 (Granatgevär – “grenade rifle”, model 1948). In U.S. military service, it is officially known as the “M3 Multi-Role Anti-Armor Anti-Personnel Weapon System” (MAAWS) or “Ranger Anti-tank Weapons System” (RAWS), but is often just called “Gustaf”. The multi-role weapon has been modernized to meet the changing needs of U.S. Army on the ground. For example, Saab recently improved portability by reducing the weight of the latest version, the M4/M3E1, from 22 to 15 pounds.