Infantry support weapons can be a huge help in the hands of a well-trained rifleman. The target may be a reinforced enemy position or an armoured vehicle, the destruction is guaranteed. This, of course, requires a modern weapon: for example, the latest, M4 variant of Carl Gustaf of Sweden…
CATEGORY: Recoilless rifle
MANUFACTURER: Saab Bofors Dynamics
The 84 mm Carl-Gustaf originates back in the late 1940s, when the Granatgevär m/48, the 48-grenade launcher was commissioned – it is not hard to guess – in 1948, based on the lessons learned from World War II. Similar to the American Bazooka or the German Panzerschreck, also known from Hungarian battlefields, the goal was to increase the infantry’s high-mobility antitank capability. The recoilless rifle proved to be a weapon with a higher speed and longer range than the ones mentioned, so it soon became popular with the soldiers. 1964 saw the commissioning of the M2 version with a shorter and lighter barrel, which soon became a basic weapon in the Swedish army, and even had serious export successes.
The inside of the barrel of the M3 of 1991 is made of a thin steel liner containing the rifling, strengthened with a lightweight carbon fibre plastic outer sleeve. The M3 MAAWS variant has become a favourite fire support weapon in the U.S. Armed Forces: it has saved the lives of U.S. and Allied soldiers in many cases in both Afghanistan and Iraq, successfully eliminating targets more than 1,000 meters away.
The M4 of 2014 is even lighter: it weighs barely 6.6 kilograms without a grenade and is only 950 millimetres long. With its redesigned controls and mountable optical aiming units, the weapon has become even more accurate and efficient.
In the Hungarian Defence Forces, the obsolete RPG-7 hand-held anti-tank grenade launchers will be replaced with M4s purchased in the framework of the Defence and Armed Forces Development Program
The basic principle and construction have not changed: the operator can aim the grenades precisely at the target with the help of two handles attached to the front of the shoulder-held barrel, and with the optical targeting system, which initially had open sights. Grenades loaded into the rifled barrel can successfully destroy targets between 400 and 1,000 metres, depending on the type of ammunition.
The M4 can be used with high-explosive, armour-piercing, illumination, smoke, area-denial, and anti-structure munitions. Many rounds can be fired indoors, in the case of combat in urban area.
The semi-active laser-guided, rocket-assisted projectile, developed in collaboration with Raytheon in the US and tested in live fire in 2020, will be able to destroy both stationary and moving targets from a range of 2,000 meters.
More video contents on the YouTube channel of the Hungarian Defence Forces.
Author: Trautmann Balázs (honvedelem.hu)