The Army’s Souped-Up New M3 Recoilless Rifle Is Headed Downrange Sooner Than You Think

Gear
A soldier tests the M3E1 Multi-role Anti-armor Anti-personnel Weapon System.
Photo via DoD

After more than a year testing a handful of major upgrades to the shoulder-fired M3 recoilless rifle, the Army is racing to dole out more than 1,000 of the brutal anti-tank bazooka system to lucky soldiers around the world.


On Sept. 6, the branch announced that it had approved 1,111 M3E1 recoilless rifles for immediate use as a lightweight, reusable replacement to the standard 84mm M3 Multi-Role Anti-Armor Anti-Personnel Weapon System (MMAAWS), better known as the M3 Carl Gustaf, that emerged as a staple of Army Ranger and Navy SEAL arsenals in 1994.

Developed for both the Army and the U.S. Special Operations Command, the M3E1 is a significantly lighter and less cumbersome anti-tank system than its predecessor, according to officials with the Army Research, Development and Engineering Command at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. The weapon was designed in collaboration with Swedish manufacturer Saab Bofors Dynamics, godfather of the original Carl Gustaf recoilless rifle, as part of foreign technology program initiated in 2012 to save R&D; dollars

In response to soldier and special operator feedback, the M3E1’s new titanium shell reduces the system’s weight by 6 pounds and length by 2.5 inches, swaddling the bazooka in an adjustable new carrying harness and shoulder padding. But more importantly, the Army hopes its re-engineered new bazooka will give troops a deadly capability they haven’t always enjoyed downrange: the ability to fire multiple shots with the same weapon.

The current system that the Army uses is the AT4, which only allows Soldiers to fire one shot, and then they have to throw the system away,” Randy Everett, project manager for the foreign technology program, said in a statement. “With the M3E1, Soldiers can use different types of ammunition which gives them an increased capability on the battlefield.”

A soldier tests the M3E1 Multi-role Anti-armor Anti-personnel Weapon System.Photo via DoD

In addition to increased comfort and firepower, the new M3E1 might just end up being (relatively) cheaper in the long run, which was the end goal of the foreign technology program. On top of a customizable fire control and fuze setting system, a specialized automatic round counter will “[enable] soldiers and logisticians to accurately track the service life of each weapon,” according to the Army.

Cheaper and more comfortable, is great, sure. But given that every Army infantry platoon currently enjoys the explosive glory of the M3 Gustaf, the real question is: how much boom does this bad boy actually make? Let’s see what Saab, which unveiled the new M3E1 system (as the M4) in 2014, has to say about that:

Lorena Mendez hung up on a representative from the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation when the organization called to offer her a mortgage-free home as a widow of a serviceman.

She assumed it was a scam.

Mendez is the widow of Marine Lance Cpl. Norberto Mendez-Hernandez, who enlisted in the Marines in 2010 and was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2011. He was 22 years old.

At the time, his son Anthony was 3 years old and he had a newborn daughter, Audrey.

"I hung up on them a couple of times before I Googled them and then I called them back crying," Mendez said as she stood in the kitchen of her new home Tuesday in Horizon City. Her children, now 11 and 9, stood next to her, smiling.

Read More

KABUL/PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - The Taliban will implement a 10-day ceasefire with U.S. troops, a reduction in violence with Afghan forces and discussions with Afghan government officials if it reaches a deal with U.S. negotiators in talks in Doha, two sources have said.

If an agreement is sealed, it could revive hopes for a long-term solution to the conflict in Afghanistan.

Read More
U.S. Navy/Chief Mass Communication Specialist Dan Mennuto

The Defense Department announced on Friday that training would resume for international military students — once some additional policies and security measures were put in place.

Read More

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. House of Representatives committee renewed a threat on Friday to subpoena Secretary of State Mike Pompeo if he does not provide information about Iran policy and President Donald Trump's ordering of the strike that killed an Iranian military commander.

Representative Eliot Engel, the Democratic chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said he scheduled a public hearing with Pompeo for Wednesday, Jan. 29.

Read More
Abu Abdul Bari (Twitter/@AliBaroodi)

Iraqi security forces earlier this week captured a larger-than-life ISIS official so massive that authorities were forced to haul him off in the bed of a police pickup truck after his arrest.

Read More