Soldiers who operate in urban environments or other scenarios with excess cover often have difficulty targeting hostile forces without exposing their position.
Fortunately, the US Army is now fielding a new weapon dubbed the Carl-Gustaf, or the Multi-Role Anti-Armor, Anti-Personnel Weapons system.
The weapon allows soldiers in the field to fire munitions in response to enemy rocket-propelled grenade attacks, as well as accurately target light structures. Indeed, the Carl-Gustaf - manufactured by Saab - fires a high explosive round that can be set to explode in the air.
"The HE round does have an airburst capability," said Saab exec Bhuvanesh Thoguluva. "[And] it is the one that is utilized most often because of its effective range. It uses a mechanical time fuse which is set prior to loading the weapon system."
This mode allows the projectile to be fired over a target and detonate on the other side - destroying an enemy position without direct line of sight.
The Army purchased the weapon as part of a limited operational assessment and the Carl-Gustaf has seen its fair of comabt in Afghanistan.
According to Thoguluva, the weapon has been quite effective thus far. To be sure, variants of the Carl-Gustaf have been used by other branches of the military such as the Army Rangers, Navy SEALS, and other Special Forces since the late 1980's.
The reusable weapon is 42-inches long, weighs 21 pounds and is capable of firing up to four rounds per minute. The weapon can fire projectiles other than HE, as well as anti-tank, flechette, illumination, enhanced armor and smoke rounds.
The Carl-Gustaf also fires dual-purpose high explosive rounds that can be set to explode on impact - or once it penetrates a specific target.