The legendary Carl Gustaf just took a major step towards a lethal new upgrade

Military Tech

VIDEO: the M3E1 Carl Gustaf in action

The 84mm Carl Gustaf recoilless rifle has remained among the most beloved weapons in infantry anti-tank arsenals for decades. Now, after years of tweaking, everyone's favorite boomstick is picking up a serious update: laser-guided precision munitions.


Swedish Carl Gustaf producer Saab Dynamics AB and U.S. defense giant Raytheon have successfully conducted "a series of guided flight tests" of its new laser-guided munition, aptly called the Guided Carl-Gustaf Munition, the companies announced on Thursday.

According to the companies, the new GCGM can reach out and hit both stationary and moving targets at a range of up to 2,000 meters, well beyond the existing effective firing ranges of its current munitions.

"Three munitions were fired in total; two against static targets and one against a moving target," the companies said of the tests, which took place at the Mile High Range in Sierra Blanca, Texas, United States and at Saab Bofors Test Centre in Karlskoga, Sweden in late September.

"A semi-active laser was used to guide the munitions to target impact," according to the statement. "Other seeker technologies (e.g. imaging IR) were also demonstrated as optional solutions for the final product."

First unveiled in 2018, Saab and Raytheon have billed the laser-guided Gustaf munition offers "a multi-target warhead capable of defeating bunkers, concrete, light skinned vehicles and armored personnel carriers" as Marine Corps Times put it at the time.

The new munition comes on the heels of Saab's new M3E1 variant of the iconic recoilless rifle, which offers a titanium shell for reduced length and weight and the capability of firing off multiple salvos of specialized rounds compared to single-use weapons like the AT-4 anti-tank system that the new Gustaf is designed to replace

Those upgrades are coming to a squad near you sooner rather than later. In 2016, the Army vowed to deck out every infantry squad with an M3 Carl Gustaf, tripling its budget request for recoilless rifles in its fiscal year 2019 with the goal of picking up a total of 2,460 systems through fiscal 2023

Last year, a Raytheon representative told Army Times that only U.S. Special Operations Command has an open requirement for a precision-guided Carl Gustaf round at this time.

According to Military.com, Saab and Raytheon will have a chance to actually show off the system for Pentagon planners as soon as next spring.

U.S. Army Rangers resting in the vicinity of Pointe du Hoc, which they assaulted in support of "Omaha" Beach landings on "D-Day," June 6, 1944. (Public domain)

Editor's Note: This article by Richard Sisk originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

For one veteran who fought through the crossfires of German heavy machine guns in the D-Day landings, receiving a Congressional Gold Medal on behalf of his service and that of his World War II comrades would be "quite meaningful."

Bills have been introduced in the House and Senate to award the Army Rangers of World War II the medal, the highest civilian award bestowed by the United States, along with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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(Associated Press photo)

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Defense Secretary Mark Esper expressed confidence on Sunday in the U.S. military justice system's ability to hold troops to account, two days after President Donald Trump pardoned two Army officers accused of war crimes in Afghanistan.

Trump also restored the rank of a Navy SEAL platoon commander who was demoted for actions in Iraq.

Asked how he would reassure countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq in the wake of the pardons, Esper said: "We have a very effective military justice system."

"I have great faith in the military justice system," Esper told reporters during a trip to Bangkok, in his first remarks about the issue since Trump issued the pardons.

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On a military base, a black flag is bad news. That means it's too hot outside to do anything strenuous, so training and missions are put off until conditions improve.

As the climate changes, there could be plenty more black flag days ahead, especially in Florida, a new analysis from the Union of Concerned Scientists found. America's military bases could see an average of an extra month of dangerously hot days by mid-century. In Florida, they could quadruple.

Pentagon data shows heat-related illnesses and injuries are on the rise in every branch of the military. Last year, nearly 2,800 troops suffered heatstroke or heat exhaustion, a roughly 50 percent jump from 2014.

"I think most of us, if we hear there are tens of thousands of cases of heat stress in our troops every year, our minds would go to where they were deployed," said Kristy Dahl, a senior climate scientist at UCS and the lead author of the study. "But more than 90% of the military cases of heatstroke happened right here at home."

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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)

BANGKOK (Reuters) - The United States and South Korea said on Sunday they will postpone upcoming military drills in an effort to bolster a stalled peace push with North Korea, even as Washington denied the move amounted to another concession to Pyongyang.

The drills, known as the Combined Flying Training Event, would have simulated air combat scenarios and involved an undisclosed number of warplanes from both the United States and South Korea.

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An opening ceremony will be held Monday on Hawaii island for a military exercise with China that will involve about 100 People's Liberation Army soldiers training alongside U.S. Army counterparts.

This comes after Adm. Phil Davidson, head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, spoke on Veterans Day at Punchbowl cemetery about the "rules-based international order" that followed U.S. victory in the Pacific in World War II, and China's attempts to usurp it.

Those American standards "are even more important today," Davidson said, "as malicious actors like the Communist Party of China seek to redefine the international order through corruption, malign cyber activities, intellectual property theft, restriction of individual liberties, military coercion and the direct attempts to override other nations' sovereignty."

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