The United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) is acquiring more portable Carl Gustav M3 rifles from Sweden's Saab, it was announced on 18 June 2012.
Valued at $25.8 million, the order calls for the portable rifles to be supplied in July 2013 and also covers their ammunition.
The Carl-Gustav 84mm system is a long-established recoilless rifle design that equips over 40 of the world's nations. The M3 version is a weight-reduced upgrade - where original steel components are now made from plastics and aluminium alloys - and is especially optimised for combat operations in dense urban environments. It's got a combat-proven capability and, according to Saab, is durable, user-friendly, straightforward to convert to and multi-mission capable.
Carl Gustav Rifle System
The original Carl Gustav rifle system dates back to the 1960s but continued evolution has kept it at the forefront of military technologies. Less than one metre long, it weighs less than 10 kilograms and can launch a variety of ammunition, including HEAT (High Explosive Anti-Tank) rounds, ADM (Area Defence Munition) rounds and illumination rounds, with a six round-per-minute firing rate.
In US military service, the Carl Gustav M3 is known as the M3 MAAWS (Multi-role Anti-armor Anti-tank Weapon System).
USSOCOM is tasked with overseeing all US military Special Operations Commands including those within the US Army and the USAF. Established in 1987, it is comprised of 58,000 armed forces personnel and its recent engagements include Afghanistan and Iraq.
USSOCOM M3 Rifle Order
"Having this system in service and combat proven with US Special Operations Forces is yet another stamp of approval and proof of the continued confidence that the US Special Operations Command customer has in our company and our products", Dan-Åke Enstedt - the President of Saab North America - explained in a company press release on the USSOCOM M3 Rifle order.
The Australian Army is another recent Carl Gustav M3 purchaser, with 437 examples delivered to it at the end of 2011, while other key users include the British Special Air Service and the US Army Rangers.
M3 Carl Gustav image copyright US Navy