The M3E1 Multi-purpose Anti-armor Anti-personnel Weapon System is an 84 mm reloadable, recoilless rifle designed to engage lightly armored targets.
According to a press release published on October 15, 2020, Swedish Company Saab has signed a multi-year framework contract with the U.S. Army for 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 has been awarded an $87 million MUSD (approximately 770 MSEK) Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity contract for M3E1 weapons with an initial order of $9.2 million MUSD (approximately 80 MSEK) with deliveries in 2021.
The contract is an indefinite delivery and quantity contract allowing the U.S. Army to place orders for the latest version of the Carl-Gustaf weapon during a 7-year period for a value of up to approximately $87 million (770 MSEK). The Carl-Gustaf weapons in this framework contract will be operated 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 for Carl-Gustaf ammunition.
The Carl Gustaf recoilless rifle (Swedish pronunciation: [kɑːɭ ˈɡɵ̂sːtav]) is an 84-mm man-portable reusable anti-tank weapon produced by Saab Bofors Dynamics (formerly Bofors Anti-Armour AB) in Sweden. The M4 version called M3E1 in the U.S. Army was unveiled in October 2014 during the AUSA defense exhibition in Washington D.C.
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.