US Army fields 84mm Carl-Gustaf

Posted by Shane McGlaun

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.