Smart just got smarter

Today’s modern infantry forces are increasingly likely to be deployed in urban or complex combat environments as part of anti-insurgency or peacekeeping operations as well as traditional force-on-force conflict scenarios. In these situations tactical flexibility is key to their success.

Acting in response to the changing nature of global conflict, Swedish defence and security company Saab has developed a new version of its highly successful multi-role weapon system: the Carl-Gustaf M4 (CGM4).

Since the introduction of the M1 models in 1948, Carl-Gustaf has become one of the most reliable and battle-proven weapons system in modern military history. CGM4 builds on the system’s already notable flexibility, offering a higher degree of accuracy, lighter construction and compatibility with future innovations.

“With the introduction of the M4’s new lightweight design, no competitor in the marketplace and no individual weapon system can match what Carl-Gustaf is capable of,” states Saab’s marketing director for the United States, Jack Seymour.

Lighter, better, faster

Markus Mellquist, head of marketing and sales for Saab’s Ground Combat business unit, explains Saab’s thinking, “one of the main drivers of the M4’s innovations is the immense burden today’s soldiers face. They need to carry radios, batteries, assault weapons, backpacks and water systems, so any weight we can shave off is going to make a huge difference.”

The CGM4 weighs less than seven kilogrammes, making it substantially lighter than its predecessors. Switching the steel components to titanium and improving the carbon fibre wrapping was among the ways that this reduction in weight was achieved. The new design is also shorter in length, meaning it’s easy to carry and handle in different tactical situations. The M4 is therefore fully optimised for dismounted soldiers who need a lightweight, high-impact weapon.

The power to adapt

With the CGM4, Saab is not just thinking about keeping troops agile in difficult environments. It is also enabling them to deal with a wide range of combat challenges they encounter, meaning that they have a powerful solution for every situation.

The Carl-Gustaf M4 system’s combat flexibility comes from its unique range of ammunition including anti-armour, anti-structure, multi-role, anti-personnel and support rounds. With a multitude of tactical options – from destroying armour to creating smoke screens, and all from a single weapon – troops can become a much more effective fighting force. The system is compatible with various sight options including red dot and intelligent sights in addition to the standard telescopic and open sights. This allows users greater flexibility to choose one that suits their specific needs.

Guaranteed precision

To ensure that the CGM4 remains on the cutting-edge of military technological innovation, Saab has designed it with open compatibility with a range of intelligent sights. Ulf Eriksson-Alvtun, Saab’s technical marketing manager for Ground Combat business unit, points towards the future saying, “we are planning to do a lot more with the Carl-Gustaf system. We want to continuously develop this winning concept so that it always fits effortlessly into the arsenal of modern dismounted soldiers.”

Multi-role innovation

The new model can now be carried while loaded, enabling users to react faster to threats and tactically relocate when required. An interface informs users exactly how many rounds have been fired through it, so troops can accurately assess when an individual weapon has reached the end of its lifecycle.

Malcolm Arvidsson, Saab’s product director for the M4, elaborates: “For our users, the Carl-Gustaf system has proven to be very simple to train with and to use. It’s a short step for an individual to have never seen the system to being proficient enough to use it during military operations.”

The CGM4 simultaneously makes use of the best ground combat innovations that today has to offer, while looking to the future and setting out a path for the integration of future technologies.

With decades of heritage behind it and innovation at its core, the M3 gave troops the kind of intelligent system that enabled them to overcome battlefield challenges around the world. Now, with the launch of Carl-Gustaf M4, it looks like smart just got smarter

Carl-Gustaf M4 - Key Facts   
(+ comparison with previous models)


M2: Weight: 14.2kg, Length: 1130mm
M3: Weight: 10kg, Length: 1065mm
M4: Weight: <7kg, Length: <1000mm

LIGHTER: Builds upon the success of its predecessor by offering an even shorter length and a weight of less than 7 kilos.

INTELLIGENT SIGHT: Compatible with intelligent sight systems, ensuring maximum effect in any tactical situation.

IMPROVED ERGONOMICS: Overall improved ergonomics enables soldiers to adjust the weapon to suit them. Includes an adjustable shoulder rest and front grip.

REDUCED ACTION TIME: Can be carried safely loaded to enable the user to act faster.

ROUND COUNTER: Integrated shot counter for improved logistics and maintenance.

FLEXIBLE: A wide range of ammunition types and sight options ensures unique flexibility for the multi-role Carl-Gustaf M4 user.