Swedish defence major Saab is planning to carry forward the 40-year-old legacy of its multipurpose weapon system Carl-Gustaf in India, as it prepares to co-produce its next-generation Carl-Gustaf M4 under the ‘Make in India’ programme for the Army.
The 84 mm Carl-Gustaf M4 was first showcased in India at the Aero Show last year and subsequently also exhibited at this year’s Defence Expo in Goa. “We had very good and positive feedback from the Indian Army because of reduction in weight and the ammunition loaded. We tried to generate interest for the weapon. They are producing the old ones and they need to update the old ones,” Christer Gordon, Vice-President, FFV Ordnance AB, Saab, toldBusinessLine. India had signed the first contract with Saab for Carl-Gustaf M2 weapons system in 1976, including technology transfer of Carl-Gustaf weapon and ammunition to Ordnance Factory Board (OFB). In 2005, Saab had inked another licensing contract for M3 with India. “Since 1976, we have supported OFB to indigenise the product. We are now planning to follow the same route for Carl-Gustaf M4, which was launched in the market in late 2014. ‘Make in India’ is very important for us. India is already producing the M2s, M3s so you can produce the MP-4s also.
The Army has given a positive feedback about it,” Gordon said. Interestingly, during the recent surgical strikes on terror launch pads across the LoC against Pakistan, the Army had used shoulder-fired Carl-Gustaf rifles. According to Gordon, the latest M4 model has improved ergonomics and is much lighter compared with M2 and M3. It is made of titanium instead of steel, which obviously makes the product costlier. Ballistic calculation Also, the new variant can communicate with ammunition, and the ammunition can be programmed from an advanced site. This enables it to give feedback to the site.
It is also capable of ballistic calculation. Gordon said the company is hopeful of the Defence Ministry placing orders soon for the product, which can be used under all weather conditions and in any terrain. The company is presently scouting for partners in India to co-develop and co-produce the M4 here.