Marines Are Finally Getting Their Hands On The Legendary Carl Gustaf Bazooka

Bullet Points

The Marine Corps plans on ordering 84mm M3 Carl Gustaf recoilless rifles for every squad as part of the branch's long-awaited plan to overhaul its infantry squads, Marine Corps Times first reported on Thursday, the first time the service will field the legendary bazooka downrange.

  • Marine Corps Systems Command spokeswoman Barbara Hamby told Marine Corps Times that the service plans on ordering 1,073 multi-use launchers of the legendary bazooka to replace the branch's existing arsenal MK153 Shoulder-Launched Multipurpose Assault Weapons (SMAW) traditionally reserved for bunker-busting.
  • In November 2017, Marine Corps officials were "weighing the possibility" of acquiring the new and improved M3E1 Multi-Role Anti-Armor Anti-Personnel Weapons System (MAAWS), an upgraded iteration of the M3 Carl Gustaf, after the Army announced an order for 1,111 of the recoilless rifles the previous September (MARCORSYSCOM did not immediately respond to request for clarification on the Carl Gustaf model).
  • While the Carl Gustaf has been a staple of Army and U.S. Special Operations Command arsenals for years, noted back in November that the adoption of the M3E1 would mark the first fielding of the system to Marines downrange in recent memory.
  • The Carl Gustaf recoilless rifles are meant to supplement the explosive power of the new-and-improved M72 Light Anti-Tank Weapon (LAW) in squad arsenals, according to Marine Corps Times, equipping that will hopefully translate in "more protection and added lethality for future grunts operating in urban environments."

Those bazookas "will not replace any existing elements of the squad, but will function as an additive capability for any squad member to operate," as reported back in November. Fun for the whole family!


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In this March 12, 2016, file photo, Marines of the U.S., left, and South Korea, wearing blue headbands on their helmets, take positions after landing on a beach during the joint military combined amphibious exercise, called Ssangyong, part of the Key Resolve and Foal Eagle military exercises, in Pohang, South Korea. (Associated Press/Yonhap/Kim Jun-bum)

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