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.
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.
Saab and Raytheon developed a laser-guided Carl-Gustaf munition for the Carl-Gustaf M4 recoilless rifle. The companies completed test firings of the munition in October 2019.
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 under 7kg, making it easy to carry. 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.
The Carl-Gustaf M4 artillery system is attached with standard clip-on telescopic sight on a picatinny rail, allowing users to install thermal sights or image intensifiers for night-time combat.
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, including 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.
The guided Carl-Gustaf munition will have the capacity to accurately engage stationary or moving targets at distances of up to 2,000m.
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.
Orders and deliveries of Carl-Gustaf M4 weapon system
Saab secured a contract from the launch customer, Slovak Republic in September 2015, for the 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 to an undisclosed customer. A $14.5m (Skr122m) contract was awarded by the Swedish Defence Material Administration (FMV) in August the same year for the supply of Carl-Gustaf M4 ammunition.
The fourth contract for the Carl-Gustaf M4 weapon system was placed from an undisclosed customer in December 2016.
The FMV signed a framework agreement with Saab in April 2018 to purchase the Carl-Gustaf ammunition for the Swedish Armed Forces for a base period of three years, with a four-year extension option. Orders were placed in May 2018.
Saab received an order worth $16m (Skr135m) from the US Department of Defense (DoD) for the Carl-Gustaf ammunition in June 2018.
The company also received an order valued at $12.7m (Skr110m) from the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency (NDMA) in the same month, under a framework agreement signed by the NDMA in September 2017.
The Estonian Centre for Defence Investment placed a Carl-Gustaf ammunition order worth $20.8m (Skr186m) in July 2018, under the framework agreement signed by the FMV. The Australian Army placed orders for the supply of undisclosed number of Carl-Gustaf M4 systems in September 2018.
The Latvian Ministry of Defense awarded a $21.12m (Skr170m) order for Carl-Gustaf ammunition in October 2018.
A month later, Saab was awarded an order to deliver Carl-Gustaf M4 weapon systems to the Slovenian Armed Forces.
Saab received orders for the delivery of Carl-Gustaf M4 worth $54.32m (Skr492m) from an undisclosed customer in December 2018.
The US DoD placed $16m (Skr145m) orders from the US DoD for the supply of Carl-Gustaf ammunition in January 2019. A month later, the US Army and Saab entered an agreement worth $19m (Skr170m) for the delivery of Carl-Gustaf M4 weapon systems.
The Australian Army placed orders worth $18m (Skr168m) for Carl-Gustaf ammunition in April 2019.
In May 2020, Saab secured orders from Latvian Armed Forces and Estonian Armed Forces for delivering Carl-Gustaf M4 which will be delivered between 2021 and 2024.