Daily Newsletter

23 November 2023

Daily Newsletter

23 November 2023

Carl-Gustaf sales over $500m in 2023 as Saab announces latest deal

Sales have been recorded for militaries in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific as demand for the recoilless rifle continues.

Richard Thomas

Swedish defence prime Saab has revealed the latest order for its man-portable, multi-role Carl-Gustaf M4 weapon system in a deal valued at approximately Skr1.3bn ($123.6m), with deliveries planned between 2024 and 2025.

However, the destination of the Carl-Gustaf systems has been withheld due to “the nature of the industry and the circumstances concerning the customer”, Saab stated in a 22 November release, the second time in a week the company has not included customer details in deals announcements.

On 17 November, Saab stated that the company had received an order “from a government of a Western country” for “a number of defence systems and equipment”, with the order valued at approximately Skr4.3bn, and deliveries planned from 2025 to 2027.

The order included systems and equipment from Saab’s business areas Dynamics and Surveillance. Saab’s Dynamics business area comprises equipment such as the NLAW anti-tank weapon and the Carl-Gustaf system.

Sales of the Carl-Gustaf have been consistent through 2023, with the weapon system brought to the fore as militaries look at lessons learned from the ongoing Ukraine-Russia war in which a significant number of armoured vehicles have been destroyed by personnel-carried anti-tank munitions.

In March, the UK committed to the acquisition of 56 Carl-Gustaf rifles, along with ammunition and training, in a deal worth £4.6m ($5.7m), in part to replace the stock of NLAW anti-tank munitions donated to Ukraine in 2022. Other customers in 2023 include Lithuania (Carl-Gustaf ammunition, March), Nato (March), Sweden (May), Australia (July), the US (September), Japan (October) and India (November).

The cumulative value of the Carl-Gustaf M4 system and/or ammunition deals, which also in some instances includes other Saab weapon systems such as the AT4 (in the case of the US), is in excess of Skr6.3bn so far in 2023.

Not included in these figures is the value of the deals with India and Japan for hundreds of Carl-Gustaf M4 systems, which was undisclosed. Also not included in the Carl-Gustaf sales value for 2023 was the 17 November deal as it could not be established whether the system was part of the sale.

Hypersonics see continued development across 2023

The US, Russia, and China are all testing hypersonic technology, generating fears of escalating global competition for weaponry that has the potential to render current defenses inadequate. Aside from military applications, hypersonic technology promises extremely fast commercial flight. However, with the future of commercial aviation looking increasingly green, and with inherent challenges to the commercial hypersonic profit model, it appears unlikely that hypersonic passenger flights will emerge as a major market.

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