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Swedish arms maker Saab to produce the Carl-Gustaf M4 weapons system in India

Swedish arms manufacturer Saab will develop a new manufacturing plant in India. The factory will produce the Carl-Gustaf M4 weapons system for the Indian army and customers in 15 other countries. Saab disclosed the additional investment as New Delhi declared its intention to enhance weapons manufacture. The Carl Gustaf M4 is a man-portable 84 mm recoilless rifle. The weapon may be used to destroy various targets up to 1,000 metres away.

Carl Gustaf 84 mm RCL
Carl Gustaf 84 mm RCL in the Indian Army Service

Swedish arms manufacturer Saab will develop a new manufacturing plant in India to produce shoulder-mounted anti-tank weapons, according to a company official, who added that the facility would serve the armed forces of New Delhi and more than a dozen other countries.

The plans were unveiled on Tuesday by Saab senior vice president Gorgen Johansson, who said the company would build a new factory at an unspecified location in India to produce its Carl-Gustaf M4 weapons system in the hopes of beginning operations in 2024.

It is a natural step to set up a production plant for Carl-Gustaf M4 in India given the long and close association the company had with the Indian military as one of the primary users of the system,” he told reporters in New Delhi, adding that Saab would “contribute to the Indian government’s goals of developing a world-class defense industry.”

Johansson added that the factory would produce the multi-purpose shoulder weapon for the Indian army and customers in 15 other countries. The company has not done this in any other country, he said.

The increased production will help meet the growing demand for the weapon, as in the aftermath of the conflict in Ukraine, “more countries will seek anti-tank capabilities in the future,” according to Johanson. Ukraine received at least 100 Carl Gustav M2 weapons and 2,000 84mm rounds from Canada alone, while the Pentagon sent another 2,000 compatible grenade ammunition from its stockpiles.

The Carl Gustaf has been in service in India since its introduction in 1976, undergoing several upgrades over the decades. The Saab executive said the new factory would only produce the latest M4 variant. At the same time, previous generations will continue to be manufactured by a local partner company, Advanced Weapons and Equipment India Limited (AWEIL). He gave a few other details about the plans and said the production site had yet to be selected.

On Tuesday, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said that the nation had boosted its yearly exports from 10 billion rupees ($122 million) to 130 billion rupees ($1.5 billion) during the previous eight years. SAAB disclosed the additional investment as New Delhi declared its intention to enhance weapons manufacture. According to the minister, India aims to increase military exports to 350 billion rupees ($4.2 billion) and overall output to $1.75 trillion ($21.3 billion) by 2025.

Carl-Gustaf M4 weapon

The Carl Gustaf M4 is a man-portable 84-millimetre recoilless rifle. M4 is designed and manufactured by the Swedish military firm SAAB Bofors Dynamics. This weapon is versatile and may be used to destroy various targets up to 1,000 metres away. Since 1946, many variants of the Carl Gustaf recoilless rifle have been in use. All prior variants have been used in several battles, including current military engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan and the civil wars in Syria and Libya.

The most recent version of the firearm, the Carl Gustaf M4, was unveiled during the 2014 AUSA event.

The new version is known to be very adaptable and compatible on the battlefield. The Carl Gustaf M4 is primarily an anti-tank weapon for squads, although it is equally effective against other stationary and moving targets.

In addition to the standard iron sights, this recoilless rifle may be equipped with advanced sighting devices such as a 3x optical magnification sight, laser rangefinder, and image intensification system. Additionally, the new system is designed to fire at night using a tracer bullet.

The Carl Gustaf M4 is a very adaptable firearm. This recoilless rifle can fire an extensive array of 84 mm ammunition, including high-explosive anti-tank, anti-structure, multi-role, high-explosive anti-personnel, smoke, illumination rounds and others. It is compatible with older M2 and M3 ammo. The weapon’s effectiveness in a support role is enhanced by its large variety of ammunition.

According to SAAB Bofors Dynamics, the Carl Gustaf M4 has five significant upgrades over its predecessor. These features include compatibility with intelligent sights, an adjustable shoulder rest for enhanced ergonomics, a lighter weight, quicker reloading, and an integrated shot counter for improved logistics and maintenance.

SAAB Bofors Dynamics is attempting to improve the rifle’s efficacy by using smart ammunition. The Carl Gustaf M4 has a round management capability that enables intelligent sights to programme rounds. For instance, high explosive ammunition may be configured to explode on impact or airburst.

M4 has a maximum effective range of 400 metres against tanks and 700 metres against structures and immobile objects. Some ammunition have a rocket booster for a range extension of up to 1,000 metres.

A typical HEAT bullet can penetrate 400 mm of uniformly rolled armour. A projectile with a tandem HEAT warhead can penetrate up to 500 mm of rolled homogeneous armour behind explosive reactive armour.

This weapon weighs less than seven kilograms and is shorter than one metre. This recoilless rifle is very dependable and can fire 1,000 rounds. The length of the M4 was shortened to accommodate urban terrain. Due to the use of lightweight components like carbon fibre and titanium liner, the weapon is also lighter.

The Carl Gustaf M4’s breech feeding mechanism is hinged. This weapon is typically handled by a two-person crew consisting of a gunner and a loader. Approximately six shots are fired every minute. If necessary, it may also be utilised by a single operator.

The Special Operations Command of the United States Army uses the Carl Gustaf M3 variant. Numerous nations, including Australia, Brazil, the United States, Canada, India, Pakistan, Germany, Israel, and many more, employ the M3.

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