US Army acquires recoilless, shoulder-fired weapon

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Army Sol­diers in Afghanistan are now fir­ing an 84mm, reusable, recoil­less shoul­der-fired con­ven­tion­al muni­tion able to destroy ene­my tar­gets hid­den behind rocks, trees and build­ings , ser­vice offi­cials said.

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The U.S. Army Sol­diers in Afghanistan are now fir­ing an 84mm, reusable, recoil­less shoul­der-fired con­ven­tion­al muni­tion called the Carl-Gustaf, which is able to destroy ene­my tar­gets hid­den behind rocks, trees and build­ings
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The weapon, called the Mul­ti-Role Anti-Armor, Anti-Per­son­nel Weapons Sys­tem, known as the Carl-Gustaf, was ordered by the Army in response to an Oper­a­tional Needs State­ment from Afghanistan seek­ing to pro­cure a direct fire, man-portable, anti-per­son­nel and light struc­ture weapon able, among oth­er things, to respond to insur­gent rock­et-pro­pelled grenade, or RPG, fire, said Bhu­vanesh Thogu­lu­va, chief of Vehi­cle Pro­tec­tion, Rock­ets & Shoul­der Fired Weapons Branch, Muni­tion Sys­tems & Tech­ni­cal Direc­torate, Arma­ment Research Devel­op­ment and Engi­neer­ing Cen­ter, Picatin­ny Arse­nal, N.J.

The Carl-Gustaf, which is man­u­fac­tured by Saab, includes an air­burst capa­bil­i­ty with its High Explo­sive, or HE, round, Thogu­lu­va said.

“The HE round does have an air­burst capa­bil­i­ty. It is the one that is uti­lized most often because of its effec­tive range. It uses a mechan­i­cal time fuse which is set pri­or to load­ing the weapon sys­tem,” he said.

Air­burst rounds can be pre-pro­grammed to explode in the air at a pre­cise loca­tion, there­by max­i­miz­ing the weapon’s effect against ene­my tar­gets hid­ing, for exam­ple, behind a rock, tree or build­ing.

Sev­er­al Carl Gustaf’s are already in Afghanistan as part of a lim­it­ed oper­a­tional assess­ment, which may indeed result in more deliv­er­ies. The Army pur­chased the weapon by join­ing with U.S. Spe­cial Oper­a­tions Com­mand in a com­bined pur­chase from Saab.

“Thus far, the weapon has been very effec­tive,” said Thogu­lu­va.

The weapon, now being eval­u­at­ed by the Army, has been used by U.S. Army Rangers, Navy SEALs and Spe­cial Forces since the late-80s, Thogu­lu­va said.

The anti-armor, anti-per­son­nel, shoul­der-fired mul­ti-role weapon is 42-inch­es long weighs 21 pounds and can fire up to four rounds per minute, said Wes Wal­ters, exec­u­tive vice pes­i­dent for mar­ket­ing, Saab North Amer­i­ca.

“It is not a guid­ed muni­tion,” Wal­ters explained, adding that the weapon can uti­lize ther­mal sight to pro­vide Sol­diers with the abil­i­ty to shoot at night and reach the prop­er range.

The Carl Gustaf is also able to fire anti-tank, flechette, illu­mi­na­tion, enhanced armor, smoke and High Explo­sive Dual Pur­pose rounds, Thogu­lu­va explained.

“The High Explo­sive Dual Pur­pose round gives you two dif­fer­ent capa­bil­i­ties. In impact mode, the round goes off imme­di­ate­ly as soon as it hits the tar­get. In delay mode, the round pen­e­trates the tar­get and then goes off,” he said.

Source:
U.S. Army

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