Saab’s Carl Gustaf, AT4 and NLAW weapons systems along with several others can enable a modern fighting force to become light, lethal and wired to meet the operational challenges of the 21st century. The first imperative for land forces in developing a combat strategy is to ensure coherence between battle space, security dynamics and cost for waging the battle. Saab is known for supplying not just advanced military and defence equipment to the world but also ensuring that the costs involved are low. Saab provides full support and ensures that the life cycle cost of its products and solutions are not a burden on the stakeholder’s pockets. With a legacy based on credibility, Saab has extensive experience in supporting ground forces with solutions designed for enhanced operational capabilities and a higher level of effectiveness.
The shoulder-fired weapon system Carl-Gustaf is one of the flagships of our product family. The system has a long and successful history, and is today in use in more than 40 countries worldwide. This includes a number of countries in Europe, including Sweden, Slovakia, United Kingdom, Germany, Czech Republic, Norway and Austria. The system offers the soldier various types of ammunition, ranging from armour penetration and anti-personnel to ammunition for built-up areas, as well as special features like smoke and illumination.
Through its wide variety of ammunition, Carl-Gustaf has made advances as the main weapon of Special Forces. Today there is an ammunition type optimized for almost every combat situation. Saab’s new lightweight Carl Gustaf M4, introduced recently to the market, has all the flexibility and lethality of previous Carl Gustaf variants. However, thanks to far-reaching design changes and improvements it now weighs less than 7 kg, delivering a significant improvement in soldier mobility. The M4 is also compatible with future battlefield technology such as intelligent sighting systems for programmable ammunition.
“Our Ground Combat products are specifically designed to work in all environments with relatively short time required for training. Furthermore, they are optimized to give even dismounted troops the ability to have as much firepower as possible. We take great pride in the amount of firepower available with any given platoon load out. The new Carl-Gustaf M4 has been developed in response to our customers’ needs for tomorrow. The Carl-Gustaf M4 is the next evolutionary step in the development of Saab’s multi-role, portable weapon systems and it can be deployed in any combat environment to effectively dictate the outcome of each engagement,” says Anders Haster, Director Business Management, Ground Combat Systems for Europe at Saab.
As with all versions of the Carl-Gustaf, the latest M4 provides a capable, flexible and easy-to-master solution for current and new customers. Saab’s design philosophy ensures the effective use of the system when it matters most.
In September 2015, during DSEI in London, Saab announced the first customer of the new Carl-Gustaf M4. “We have seen a tremendous interest for the system and at DSEI 2015 we announced the first order. The Armed Forces of the Slovak Republic is now our first customer of the system and we are expecting further orders in short by other countries. In addition to the order from Slovakia, two other countries have acquired the system for evaluation and qualification purposes. This is, without any doubt, the system of tomorrow”, says Markus Mellkvist, head of marketing and sales at Saab business unit Ground Combat.
The AT4 systems product range includes Anti-Armour, Anti-Structure & Breaching. All of these products can come with fire from confined spaces capabilities. In September 2014, two brand new AT4 capabilities were demonstrated. The AT4CS ER takes the well-proven anti-armour capability of the AT4CS (Confined Space) and extends its effective range to 600 m. The AT4CS HE will provide the soldier with a direct-fire support capability capable of engaging enemy troops in air-burst or impact mode out to a distance of 1,000 m. The two new capabilities are in its final stage of development and customer contracts have been signed.
Important new capabilities developed by Saab for its AT4 deliver extended range (ER) performance and improved high explosive (HE) effects. With an AT4, any soldier can now defeat more targets with greater flexibility and in many more scenarios.
“These new members of our AT4 family further expand the great versatility of the weapon and emphasise its position as the leading disposable shoulder-launched support weapon on the market,” says Haster.
NLAW (Next generation Light Anti-tank Weapon) is the latest shoulder-launched, Overfly Top Attack, anti-tank missile system that makes it the true tank killer for light forces that operate dismounted in all environments including built up areas. Selectable Overfly Top Attack (OTA) against armoured targets and Direct Attack (DA) against non armoured targets such as other vehicles and vessels or enemy troops inside buildings. PLOS (Predicted Line Of Sight) guidance and OTA delivers easy handling, accuracy and high kill probability.
The interest on the European market for the NLAW anti-tank weapon is growing fast and the latest country to order additional numbers of the system is Finland. In June 2015, an order of approximately EUR 32 million was received from the Finnish Defence Forces which included both weapons and training equipment and also an option for further orders. Anders Gardberg, managing director at Saab International Finland Oy, commented on the order:
“Experience shows that when it comes to effects and ease-of-use, the NLAW anti-tank weapon is very well suited to the Finnish Defence Forces, particularly when it comes to new ways of taking on the battlefield.”