Daily Archives: December 6, 2016

Carl-Gustaf M4 Multi-Role Weapon System, Sweden

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.


Carl-Gustaf M4 – Saab

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 M3A1 Multi-Role Anti-Armor Anti-Personnel Weapon System (MAAWS) in the US.

Deliveries are scheduled to commence in 2016.

The evolution of Carl-Gustaf over the past 70 years

1948: The m/48 (it became known as the M1 elsewhere in the world) is introduced in Sweden – the rifle part is 1,130mm long, and the complete system including its stand and sight weights 14kg.

1958: The name Carl-Gustaf is introduced.

1964: The introduction of the M2. Made for export, it had a reinforced barrel capable of withstanding the pressure of a warmer climate in places like India and Australia. The same length and weight as M1, the M2 was classified by NATO.

1986: The arrival of the Carl-Gustaf M3 – 1,065mm long, with a lighter barrel made of a carbon-fibre-reinforced thin steel liner, which is 0.4mm thick at its thinnest point.

2014: The arrival of the current M4 version of the system, a future-proof digital weapon – with a steel-free titanium-lined barrel and titanium venturi, it is stronger than the M3, although it weighs under 7kg excluding the sight and stand, and is just 999mm long. Source Saab

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 Receives First Order for Carl-Gustaf M4



Defence and security company Saab has received the first order for the new Carl-Gustaf M4 system from the armed forces of the Slovak Republic. Deliveries are expected to take place during 2016.

The Carl-Gustaf M4 made its market debut in late 2014. It has all the effectiveness and versatility of the proven Carl-Gustaf system but its improved, lightweight design (weighing only about 7 kg) offers significant mobility improvements to the soldier.

The M4 is also compatible with future battlefield technology developments such as intelligent sighting systems and programmable ammunition. Now Slovakia has become the launch customer for the next-generation M4 system. In addition, the Carl-Gustaf M4 system have been acquired by two other undisclosed countries for evaluation / qualification purposes.

“This is a great milestone for Saab and the Carl-Gustaf system. I am very proud to announce that Slovakia is the first country to implement the Carl-Gustaf M4 in its armed forces. For Saab and for business area Dynamics this is further proof of our ability to offer world-leading solutions to our customers,” says Görgen Johansson, head of Saab business area Dynamics.

“Slovakia now has a system that will further increase its defence capabilities. Since the launch of the system we have seen a tremendous interest in the market and we look forward to taking further orders from more countries,” says Magnus Lewis-Olsson, head of Saab Market Area Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Saab’s Carl-Gustaf system has a long and distinguished service history all around the world. It has been successively modernised and enhanced to meet the changing requirements of its users.

The Carl-Gustaf M4 is the latest version of the portable, shoulder-launched, multi-role weapon system. It gives users a wide range of engagement options and allows troops to remain agile and effective in any scenario. It builds on the system’s formidable capabilities, offering a higher degree of accuracy, lighter construction and compatibility with future innovations. Source defencetalk.com


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.

Carl-Gustaf M4 weapon system development



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

Saab a conducted 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 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.


Compared to the M3 MAAWS, the M4 is 3.4 kg (7.5 lb) lighter weighing 6.6 kg (15 lb) and shorter with a 950 mm (37 in) overall length. The shorter length was in response to the need to wield the weapon in urban terrain, and weight savings were achieved through using lighter components whenever possible including a carbon fiber tube with titanium liner, as well as a new venturi design. Other new features include a red-dot sight, a travel safety catch to allow the M4 to be carried while loaded, an adjustable shoulder rest and forward grip for improved ergonomics, a shot counter to keep track of how many rounds have been fired to manage the weapon’s 1,000-round barrel life, picatinny rails for grips and sight mounts, and a remote round management function so intelligent sights can “talk” to programmable rounds. Source wikiwand.com

Carl-Gustaf M4 – Key Facts
(+ comparison with previous models)



M2: Weight: 14.2kg, Length: 1130mm
M3: Weight: 10kg, Length: 1065mm
M4: Weight: <7kg, Length: <1000mm

LIGHTER: Builds upon the success of its predecessor by offering an even shorter length and a weight of less than 7 kilos.

INTELLIGENT SIGHT: Compatible with intelligent sight systems, ensuring maximum effect in any tactical situation.

IMPROVED ERGONOMICS: Overall improved ergonomics enables soldiers to adjust the weapon to suit them. Includes an adjustable shoulder rest and front grip.

REDUCED ACTION TIME: Can be carried safely loaded to enable the user to act faster.

ROUND COUNTER: Integrated shot counter for improved logistics and maintenance.

FLEXIBLE: A wide range of ammunition types and sight options ensures unique flexibility for the multi-role Carl-Gustaf M4 user. Source saab.com

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.

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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.


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.



Eleven types of ammunition



HEAT 751 Anti-armour round against vehicles with reactive armour
HEAT 551 and 551C Single-warhead, rocket-propelled, anti-armour rounds
HEAT 655 CS Confined space anti-armour round for use inside buildings
ASM 509 Anti-structure round for use against buildings
MT 756 Tandem-warhead anti-structure round that penetrates walls and then detonates
HEDP 502 High explosive and dual purpose round effective against light-armoured vehicles, concrete and brick walls, field fortifications and bunkers.
ADM 401 Anti-personnel round designed for defeating close soft targets like cars
HE 441 Anti-personnel round featuring a time fuze, allowing for airbursts
ILLUM 545C Parachute-suspended illumination round to expose enemy
SMOKE 469C Smoke round to provide concealment.

Saab shows new 84 mm ‘smart munition’ for Carl Gustaf M4


Key Points

  • New programmable round will be available from 2018
  • The munition will be backward compatible with earlier M1, M2, and M3 launchers

Seeking to exploit the advances offered by its latest Carl Gustaf M4 shoulder-launched multi-role weapon system, Saab Dynamics Ground Combat Systems now has in advanced development the first programmable 84 mm round in a prospective inventory of future intelligent munitions.


First unveiled by Saab Dynamics at its facility in Karlskoga, Sweden, in September 2014, the M4 is a new light-weight ‘intelligent’ launcher variant of the Carl Gustaf-series re-useable recoilless rifle that provides for an interface with an ‘intelligent’ sight or fire control system (FCS). An essential discriminator over legacy systems in terms of improved precision and kill probability, the FCS delivers instant analysis of ballistic data – using a baseline minimum of an integrated laser rangefinder and ballistics calculator, with additional enabling options for the input of compensatory factors such as propellant temperature and air temperature – enabling the M4 gunner to communicate with programmable 84 mm smart munitions via the sight to precisely deliver the desired effects to target.

Intended initially for the M4, but available also for the AT4 Confined Space (CS) series of 84 mm disposable launchers, the new Carl Gustaf round has not been allocated a market classification, but is designated internally by Saab as the High Explosive Modular Grenade (HEMG), where ‘modular’ indicates its prospective use with both weapon systems.


Optimised primarily as an anti-personnel munition, the new high-explosive round will enable the M4 to engage targets in airburst mode at ranges out to 1,500 m. However, Anders Haster, the director of business management of ground combat systems told IHS Jane’s that the munition round will also have utility against vehicles and bunkers, with engagement options not only in airburst mode but also in a direct attack mode. Source janes.com


Guided Carl-Gustaf Munition


The munition flies at near-supersonic speeds and can penetrate multiple targets including fortified structures, bunkers and light armored vehicles. It can engage static or moving targets at distances greater than 1.2 miles (2,000 meters), and it launches from a shoulder-fired system, allowing troops to engage from within an enclosure.

Raytheon and Saab began developing the munition in 2016 and expect to test a live round in 2020. Source raytheon.com

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.

Carl-Gustaf M2


The original version of the Carl Gustav launcher was the M1. The most common version is the improved M2 that was introduced in 1964. The M2 is the most common and remains in production today. The M2-550 features a large sight unit that replaces the original optics. The sight unit consists of a laser range finder and lead computing sight. Additionally the rocket assisted HEAT 551 round was introduced at the same time, which can also be fired from the original M2. This sight and ammunition combination makes the M2-550 more effective against moving targets at longer ranges, but also increases the weight of the system significantly. The M2-550 is no longer marketed as a separate model. The sight remains available for the M2.

Type Recoilless rifle
Crew 1 or 2
Caliber 84 mm
Length 1.065 mm
Width ?
Height ?
Weight 14.2 kg empty
Sights Optical, 3x scope
Ammunition Various warheads
Guidance None, free flight
Velocity 210 – 255 m/s at muzzle
Penetration Depends on warhead, up to 425mm RHA behind ERA available
Remarks Reusable launcher

Source weaponsystems.net


Carl-Gustaf M3


The M3 is a lightweight model of the M2. The barrel is made of carbon fibre and epoxy with a steel rifled liner. A carrying handle assists in rapid displacement. The M3 functions in a similar way as the M2 and the combat effectiveness is similar.

Type Recoilless rifle
Crew 1 or 2
Caliber 84 mm
Length 1.13 mm
Width ?
Height ?
Weight 10 kg empty
Sights Optical, 3x scope
Ammunition Various warheads
Guidance None, free flight
Velocity 210 – 255 m/s at muzzle
Penetration Depends on warhead, up to 425mm RHA behind ERA available
Remarks Reusable launcher

Source weaponsystems.net


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.


Caliber 84-mm
Cartridge 84×246 mm R
Cartridge weight 3.1 – 4 kg
Weight (empty) less than 7 kg
Length less than 1 000 mm
Muzzle velocity 230 – 255 m/s
Rate of fire up to 6 rpm
Sighting range ?
Range of effective fire (against tanks) up to 400 m
Range of effective fire (against buildings and stationary targets) 700 – 1 000 m
Armor penetration 400 – 500 mm

Tehnical data Carl-Gustaf M4 military-today.com

Main material source army-technology.com

Images are from public domain unless otherwise stated

Updated Nov 02, 2019