Estonian Junior Non-Commissioned Officers Course Fires New Carl-Gustaf M4 Recoilless Rifle
Estonian Junior Non-Commissioned Officers Course Fires New Carl-Gustaf M4 Recoilless Rifle

Estonian Junior Non-Commissioned Officers Course Fires New Carl-Gustaf M4 Recoilless Rifle

The Estonian Junior Non-Commissioned Officers Course (JNCO) organised by the Estonian Land Forces Kalev Infantry Battalion was held at the Sirgala training ground. The Kalev Infantry Battalion is a part of the 1st Infantry Brigade and its primary task is to train conscription-based mechanized infantry units. Shooting skills tests were conducted at the shooting camp, and for the first time the students could try firing the MG3 machine gun and the new Carl-Gustaf weapon. Live firing exercises took place up to section level. In addition, shooting was also done using night vision devices in conditions of limited visibility.

“The shooting was interesting. It was exciting to try different weapons. Adrenaline was high at times, especially during night shootings with a night vision device,” said student Renzo Limbak from Kalev’s infantry battalion.

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“You could be completely satisfied with the students. They were good and willing. There is still room for improvement, but that’s what we train for,” said Captain Aleksei Gussev, commander of the junior non-commissioned officer course.

Future Estonian JNCO with Carl-Gustaf M4 recoilless rifle.
Future Estonian Junior Non-Commissioned Officers Course (JNCO) with Carl-Gustaf M4 recoilless rifle. (Photo by Ott Aro/Estonian Defence Forces: Ott Aro)

The Carl Gustaf 8.4 cm recoilless rifle is a Swedish developed 84 mm (3.3 in) caliber man-portable shoulder-fired recoilless rifle, initially developed by the Royal Swedish Army Materiel Administration during the second half of the 1940s as a close-range anti-tank and support weapon for infantry, which has seen great export success around the globe and is today a popular multi-purpose support weapon in use by many nations. Carl-Gustaf M4 recoilless rifle is the latest version of the portable, shoulder-launched, multi-role weapon system. Since the launch in 2014, Saab has signed contracts with thirteen different nations for the Carl-Gustaf M4.

In 2021, the first 300 Carl-Gustaf M4 recoilless rifles have arrived in Estonia, from Swedish firm Saab. The M4 will gradually replace the older, heavier M2 currently in use by the Estonian Defense Forces (EDF). The procurement has been carried out in cooperation with Latvia, invited to join the procurement deal originally signed between the Estonian Centre for Defense Investment (ECDI) and Saab in June 2019. The new recoilless rifles will be used in parallel with the modification weapons M2 and M3, which are currently part of the military equipment being used by the Estonian Defense Forces. The M4 weighs around 7 kg – half the weight of the M2 – and is 13 cm shorter.

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