Carl-Gustaf M4 Multi-Role Weapon System, Sweden

carl gustaf

Carl-Gustaf M4 (CGM4) is a man-portable, shoulder-launched weapon system designed and developed by Swedish defence and security firm Saab to meet a wide range of modern combat needs of infantry forces.

The next-generation multi-role weapon system can be deployed in anti-insurgency / peacekeeping missions and traditional force-on-force conflicts in urban or complex combat environmental conditions. It is used to destroy armoured tanks with add-on armour protection, to neutralise landing craft and bunkers and to clear obstacles. It is also used to engage enemies in buildings.

The artillery system was launched at the 2014 Association of the US Army (AUSA) annual meeting and exposition held in Washington DC. It is known as the M3A1 Multi-Role Anti-Armor Anti-Personnel Weapon System (MAAWS) in the US.

Slovakia became the first country to deploy the system, following deliveries made in July 2017.

Orders and deliveries of Carl-Gustaf M4 weapon system

In September 2015, Saab secured a contract from the launch customer, Slovak Republic, to supply Carl-Gustaf M4 system.

Saab signed a contract with the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) to deliver ammunition for MAAWS in October 2015.

In January 2016, Saab secured a contract worth approximately $164m (Skr1.4bn) to supply ammunition for the Carl-Gustaf weapon system. Deliveries are expected to take place between 2016 and 2019.

Saab was awarded a SEK122m contract from the Swedish Defence Material Administration (FMV) for the delivery of Carl-Gustaf M4 ammunition in August 2016. Deliveries are expected to take place in 2017.

Saab secured its fourth contract for the delivery of the Carl-Gustaf M4 weapon system from an undisclosed company in December 2016.

Carl-Gustaf M4 weapon system development

The Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) is a combat-proven, laser-guided 70mm rocket system designed and manufactured by BAE Systems in collaboration with the US Government.

The Carl-Gustaf M4 weapon system is an advanced derivative of the Carl-Gustaf M3 multipurpose, shoulder-fired recoilless weapon.

Saab conducted a live fire demonstration of the Carl-Gustaf M4 artillery system at its Bofors Test Center in Karlskoga, Sweden, in September 2014. The system performed a comprehensive series of successful firings against fixed and moving targets during the ground combat systems demonstration.

Customers are offered sub-calibre trainers and full-calibre practice rounds, as well as simulators, to meet their training needs.

Design and features of the multi-role weapon system

The CGM4 features a lightweight, flexible design incorporating titanium-made components and improved carbon fibre wrapping. The recoilless rifle offers enhanced agility and tactical flexibility, allowing military forces to engage multiple tactical targets.

It has a length of less than 1,000mm and weighs less than 7kg, making it easy to carry. A crew of two, including a gunner and a loader, can operate the system.

The weapon system features improved ergonomics and is equipped with an adjustable shoulder rest and front grip. It is also fitted with an integrated shot counter for enhanced logistics and maintenance, and is provided with dual mode safety features.

Sighting systems

The Carl-Gustaf M4 artillery system is attached with standard clip-on telescopic sight on a picatinny rail, allowing the users to install thermal sights or image intensifiers for night-time combat.

"The CGM4 features a lightweight, flexible design incorporating titanium-made components and improved carbon fibre wrapping."

Additional sighting systems, including open sight, red dot and intelligent sights, can be optionally mounted based on specific needs of the customer.


The Carl-Gustaf M4 is flexible, with a wide range of existing and future ammunition types such as anti-armour, anti-structure, multi-role, anti-personnel, and support rounds such as smoke and illumination. It is also compatible with programmable ammunition to provide dismounted soldiers with advanced capability.

Carl-Gustaf weapon system

Carl-Gustaf weapon systems are in service with more than 40 countries. The launch variant Carl-Gustaf M1 entered service in 1948, whereas the second variant Carl-Gustaf M2 became operational in 1964.

Also referred to as MAAWS in the US, the third variant Carl-Gustaf M3 has been in service with the US Army Rangers and US Special Operations Force since 1991. The 1.065m-long, 10kg system features airburst capability and is compatible with various types of ammunition.

Defence Technology