Saab has received an order from the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) for deliveries of ammunition for the recoilless Carl-Gustaf® rifle. The order value is approximately SEK 800 million and deliveries will take place 2023-2025. The order is placed within a framework agreement, which was updated in April 2022, and allows FMV to place orders for ground combat weapons and ammunition from Saab during a ten-year period. The order comprises the new programmable high explosive ammunition, designated HE 448. A new Fire Control Device (FCD), designated FCD 558, was also demonstarted at the event. The new HE 448 programmable round has the ability to communicate with the new Fire Control Device 558 via a new protocol known as Firebolt®.
Together with the new Fire Control Device, FCD 558, which Sweden ordered in late 2021, the new programmable high explosive ammunition HE 448 gives the Carl-Gustaf operator the ability to quickly configure a chambered round. The HE 448 round provides the FCD 558 with the exact information on round type and propellant temperature and combines this with target distance entered by the operator to determine the best trajectory. The wide range of ammunition available for Carl-Gustav further strengthens the system’s tactical flexibility, enabling faster engagement, increased hit probability and greater effectiveness for the soldiers.This means that Carl-Gustaf operators will be able to quickly configure a chambered round and so increase their operational effectiveness.
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. Improvements to the ammunition have been continual. While the older HEAT rounds are not particularly effective against modern tank armor, the weapon has found new life as a bunker-buster with an HEDP round. In addition, improved HEAT, high explosive (HE), smoke and illumination (star shell or flare) ammunition is also available. Developed 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 in production and remains in widespread use today.