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Saab Global

A 40-year history in India

4 min read

For decades, Saab has been supported in India by its fully owned subsidiary FFV Ordnance in the area of Ground Combat Support Weapons. The shoulder-launched weapon system Carl-Gustaf is the flagship of FFV Ordnance´s product family and it has a long and successful history.

Indian army using Carl-Gustaf

The Carl-Gustaf system, along with its wide range of ammunition, has been
in service with the Indian Army since 1974. The first transfer of technology
agreement was signed on April 17, 1976. Through its wide variety of ammunition, Carl-Gustaf has made advances as the main shoulder launched weapon in the Indian Army. Today there is an ammunition type optimized for almost every combat situation.

To celebrate 40 years of being in India, FFV Ordnance is showcasing its new Carl-Gustaf M4, launched in 2014, for the first time at a land defence exhibition in India at Defexpo 2016. The Carl-Gustaf M4 is the latest man-portable shoulder-launched multi-purpose weapon system from FFV Ordnance, designed to provide users with flexible capability and help troops remain agile in any scenario.

“I am very happy to be here at Defexpo and celebrate 40 years of being in India. Since 1976, FFV Ordnance and the Ordnance Factory Board have been cooperating for the production of the various Carl Gustaf weapon systems and its family of ammunition. We are looking forward to continue to build on and further deepen this four decade cooperation”, says Bo Thörn, Head of FFV Ordnance.

Developments for Future Needs

FFV Ordnance is continuously working to make the Carl-Gustaf system even better in order to meet future operational needs, and the newest generation, Carl-Gustaf M4 is the latest man-portable shoulder-launched multi-role weapon system designed to provide users with flexible capability and help troops to remain agile in any scenario.

The new light-weight Carl Gustaf M4, weighing less than 7 kg, offers significant weight saving to the soldier. It is also compatible with future battlefield technology such as intelligent sighting systems for programmable ammunition. With a wide variety of munitions available, it is a weapon system capable of handling multiple tactical situations, bridging the gap between full scale operations and low intensity conflicts, and providing the modern warfighter with unprecedented flexibility and capability on the battlefield.

“One of the main drivers of the M4’s innovations is the immense burden today’s soldiers face. They need to carry radios, batteries, assault weapons, backpacks and water systems, so any weight we can shave off is going to make a huge difference,” says Bo Thörn.

Switching the steel components to titanium and improving the carbon fibre wrapping was among the ways that this reduction in weight was achieved. The new design is also shorter in length, making it easier to carry and handle in different tactical situations. The M4 is therefore fully optimised for dismounted soldiers who need a lightweight, high-impact weapon.


The AT4 family of systems consists of AT4 HEAT, AT4CS HEAT and AT4CS AST. The AT4 systems product range includes Anti-Armour, Anti-Structure and Breaching. All of these products can come with fire-from-confined-spaces capabilities.

In 2014 two new capabilities were introduced in the Dynamics AT4 family. Building on the modularity of the 84-mm calibre system applied to both the AT4 and Carl-Gustaf weapons, the new capabilities allow a soldier to engage and defeat more types of enemy targets, over longer distances and in more complex environments.

The AT4CS ER takes the well-proven anti-armour capability of the AT4CS (Confined Space) and extends its effective range to 600 m. The AT4CS HE will provide the soldier with a direct-fire support capability capable of engaging enemy troops in air-burst or impact mode out to a distance of 1,000 m.

Brand new ammunition

The HEAT 655 CS, launched in the end of 2013, is the first Carl-Gustaf ammunition that is fully optimized for firing from confined spaces, i.e. from inside a building. This is an important requirement in modern, urban conflicts. This is the first ammunition type in a new line of ammunition for the Carl-Gustaf which has been designed to reduce back-blast. The ammunition will allow soldiers to safely use the weapon in confined spaces.

“The ability to fire from inside the buildings is very important for the competitiveness of the Carl-Gustaf system. The interest from the market has been great and we shipped the first delivery to the customer by the end of last year. In 2014 we showcased HEAT 655 CS for the first time to a wider audience together with the introduction of our brand new capabilities for AT4, our disposable support weapon”, says Bo Thörn.