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Saab Global

Carl-Gustaf M4 Gets Smarter

3 min read

Ever since the 1970s, the Indian Army has been relying on the effectiveness and tactical flexibility offered by Saab’s Carl-Gustaf® recoilless rifle. And now, this relationship takes a step forward with the announcement of the setting up of a manufacturing facility for the shoulder-launched weapon system. Named Saab FFV India, the new company will be partnering with Indian sub-suppliers to make the entire Carl-Gustaf system, including the latest M4 version in India.

Carl-Gustaf M4

The Carl-Gustaf recoilless rifle is perfect for the asymmetric and intra-state warfare of today which requires troops on the ground to be able to quickly and efficiently respond to threats. And to add greater accuracy, range and effectiveness without compromising on ease of use of the system, Saab engineers have come up with two new additions - a new High Explosive round (HE448) and an improved Fire Control Device (FCD 558).

Smart Gets Smarter

With the HE 448 fuze, the user can select between direct-fire mode where the round impacts the target and air-burst mode where the round is detonated in the air at a position above the target. The new round has replaced the mechanical fuze with a small electro-mechanical fuze that is lesser in weight. When fired, the round leaves the barrel with higher muzzle velocity, increasing both accuracy, engagement time, and range. Additionally, the HE 448 also has about 4000 tungsten pellets (as compared to its predecessor’s 800) which means more fragments, greater dispersal and more impact.

The FCD 558, on the other hand, gives a Carl-Gustaf the edge of accuracy. As compared to the standard fire control system which relied on interchangeable range knobs, the FCD 558 is electro-mechanical which allows it to communicate directly and exchange information with the chambered round. The gunner can toggle on the device and choose its fire mode and range to target. All this information, combined with round type and propellant temperature, is used by the FCD’s ballistic computer to guide the gunner with the best possible trajectory.

To put it simply, the combination of the lethality of the HE 448 round and the accuracy of the FCD 558 makes the firing process uncomplicated while giving highly accurate results. And that is exactly what you need during high-stress scenarios where the soldiers have to take position and fire multiple times.

The capabilities of both HE448 and FCD 558 were recently tested in Sweden in the presence of representatives from 30 different nations. "The firings successfully demonstrated that the Fire Control Device 558 offered a more efficient sighting solution than the baseline configuration. The HE 448 has more fragments, greater dispersal and increased effectiveness. Together, they make for a lethal combination," Mats Palmberg, Country Head, Saab India says.