The US Army has signed a multi-year framework contract worth up to $87m with Swedish firm Saab to procure Carl-Gustaf multi-role, man-portable shoulder-fired weapon systems.

The indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract will allow the US Army to place orders for the latest version of the weapon system, designated as M3E1 in the US, during a seven-year period.

The latest version of M3E1 weighs 14.8lb, around 8% lighter than its preceding variant M3. Carl-Gustaf is used by the ground forces as an anti-tank weapon system and to neutralise other challenges.

Saab has already received an initial order of $9.2m, with deliveries slated next year.

Saab US president and CEO Erik Smith said: “The Saab M3E1 is optimised to meet the needs of today’s troops.

“This lightweight and effective recoilless rifle ensures readiness on the modern battlefield with multi-role capabilities through a wide array of munitions including counter defilade, anti-structure, and anti-armour.”

As agreed, the weapon systems to be delivered under this contract will be used by the US Army, US Marine Corps and Special Operations Command.

In 2018, the US Army announced plans that it would acquire the latest version of the Carl-Gustaf weapon system.

Last year, it signed a framework agreement for Carl-Gustaf ammunition.

Globally, the weapon system is known as M4. In May, Saab received a contract to deliver Carl-Gustaf M4 to the Latvian Armed Forces and Estonian Armed Forces. The deliveries are expected to conclude by 2024.