Swedish defense firm Saab announced last week that it has signed a multi-year framework contract with the U.S. Army to supply the latest version of the Carl-Gustaf multi-role, man-portable shoulder-fired weapon, known as the M3E1 in U.S. Army service and M4 globally. Saab was awarded an $87 million Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity contract for the weapons with an initial order of $9.2 million to be delivered in 2021. The weapons will be used by the U.S. Army, Marine Corps and Special Operations Command.
“The Saab M3E1 is optimized to meet the needs of today’s warfighters. 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-armor,” said Erik Smith, President and CEO of Saab in the U.S.
The Carl-Gustaf system has been a program of record in the U.S. since 2013. In 2018, the U.S. Army announced it would acquire the latest version of the system. At 14.8 pounds (6.7 kilos), the new version is 28 percent lighter than its predecessor, the M3. In 2019, the U.S. Army signed a framework agreement to purchase Carl-Gustaf ammunition.
A U.S. soldier in Iraq fires the Carl-Gustaf weapon. Photo: Spc. William Hatton/US Army