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Saab Global

The Evolution of the Combat-Proven Carl-Gustaf System

3 min read

Only the most advanced weapon system that combines lethality with ease of use for gunners makes sense for modern Armed Forces like India's. The weapon system must be tough enough to be air-dropped, have quick reloading and adjusting capabilities, be effective against all potential targets such as tanks, vehicles, and structures, and, most significantly, strike with pinpoint precision. The Carl-Gustaf® weapon system from Saab is a full kit that has all of these capabilities and more.


The game changing qualities of the recoilless weapon

The Carl-Gustaf® system, a complete set of weapon, sights, and ammo, provides troops with the capability to deal with enemies in any environment, such as armoured tanks and buildings, day or night. The weapon is light to carry for rapid deployment, enabling the soldiers to quickly scramble into positions to engage the adversary.

Perfected over decades of innovation

Ulf Henriksson, Rtd Brigadier, Swedish Armed Forces, talks about his experience of using Carl-Gustaf decades back with a United Nations protection force with Red Cross in Balkans.

"There was an isolated village that hadn't received any food supplies for over a month. When the Red Cross was about to transport supplies there, they got fired at. We offered to help out. "In order to increase safety, we decided to fire smoke. When we reached the most vulnerable spot, the armoured personnel carriers had put on maximum speed in order to become as difficult to target as possible. We had our Carl-Gustaf. We waited in anticipation: ‘Will they shoot or not?’ We knew the distance to our opponents' positions. They fired and we fired smoke. It felt great to have Carl-Gustaf there.

Why the Indian Armed Forces Should Consider Carl-Gustaf M4

Over the years, the weapon system has gone through several changes to keep up with newer challenges. Using lighter materials such as titanium alloy, Carl-Gustaf M4 has been developed to be 2.6kg lighter than the M3 variant.

The decreased load enables troops which are constantly on the move - shifting from vehicles to buildings to open spaces - to stay agile.

Carl-Gustaf M4's new HE 448 round allows soldiers to select between direct-fire mode (impact aimed at the target) and air-burst mode (detonation above the target). Not just that, the round features a small, much lighter electro-mechanical fuze (an upgrade from the mechanical fuze in HE 441) which allows higher muzzle velocity to deliver greater accuracy, engagement time and range. Also, the HE 448 has 4000 tungsten pellets (HE 441 has 800 steel balls) that ensure greater dispersal and more effectiveness.

HE 448

HE 448
But what actually takes HE 448's performance a notch above is its combination with the new fire control device - FCD 558. Once the gunner inputs the range, the ballistic computer in the FCD uses the range, round type, attack mode along with propellant and ambient temperature to calculate the best trajectory for a successful hit.

FCD 558

FCD 558
The round can also pass on information on range, round type and the required mode to the FCD which in turn calculates the best possible trajectory and a better point of contact.

“For someone who grew up with Carl-Gustaf M1 with fixed sights, today's weapon system is a fantastic improvement which I think you should absolutely get,” Rtd Brigadier Henriksson says.