The Army intends to drop some major cash to bolster its arsenal of 84mm Carl Gustaf recoilless rifles over the next three years, according to a new contract.
- Awarded on Feb. 14, the multi-year agreement with the Swedish Carl Gustaf godfather Saab Dynamics AB authorized a $19 million delivery of the upgraded M3A1 recoilless rifles for delivery as soon as this year to replace the Army's existing M3 systems.
- That $19 million purchase represents a major boost in funds on top of the service's $23.3 million line item to acquire 300 M3E1 recoilless rifles, itself a four-fold increase over the $6.5 million earmarked for system in the branch's fiscal 2018 budget request.
- The new M3E1 Carl Gustaf variant represents a streamlined update to the legacy system, its new titanium shell reducing the system's weight by 28% and its length by 2.5 inches, according to the contract.
- The M3E1 recoilless rifle systems also offers U.S. service members the capability to fire off multiple salvos of different specialized ammunitions, an important departure from the one-and-done low-cost AT-4 anti-tank system.
- According to Saab, the Marine Corps will also field several M3E1 recoilless rifle systems after adopting the classic M3 system for the first time ever back in August 2018 to replace the branch's existing arsenal MK153 Shoulder-Launched Multipurpose Assault Weapons.