Australia orders more Carl-Gustaf ammo

May 4, 2012 at 6:30 AM
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CANBERRA, Australia, May 4 (UPI) -- Saab has received an order from Australia for additional ammunition for the armor-piercing 84mm Carl-Gustaf M3 weapon system for which delivery will start next year.

The deal with the Australian Defense Materiel Organization for various versions of 84mm ammunition was placed under a standing offer signed in early 2011 and amounts to nearly $30 million, a statement by Saab said.

"This shows the high level of trust Australia has for the Carl-Gustaf system," Tomas Samuelsson, head of Saab's Bofors Dynamics business in Sweden, said.

The Australian defense force selected the recoil-less Carl-Gustaf M3 rifle system after thorough evaluation in 2009 as their future multipurpose weapon system. The deal with Saab Bofors Dynamics for the M3 weapons is worth around $6.2 million.

In February 2010, BAE Systems announced it had won a $14 million contract to supply a targeting system for Australia's Carl Gustaf order. BAE said at the time the deal would amount to more than 400 of its uncooled AN/PAS-13C thermal weapon sights.

The BAE sights can be used for day or night operations as well as in adverse conditions such as smoke and dust. They also are self-contained and eliminate the need for cables and day-night mode switching.

"The military off-the-shelf sight is manufactured by BAE System's Electronics, Intelligence and Support business in the United States," a BAE statement said at the time of the contract signing in 2009. "More than 50,000 are in use on a dozen weapon types operating across coalition forces."

The Carl-Gustaf is a man-portable shoulder-fired weapon -- usually operated by two people -- that uses ammunition ranging from armor penetration and anti-personnel to ammunition specifically for combat in built-up areas. There also are special features for firing smoke and illumination rounds.

It can be fired from the standing, kneeling, sitting or prone positions and a bipod attached in front of the shoulder piece can be added for stability.

An operating handle called the Venturi lock is used to move the hinged breech to one side for reloading.

The M3 version of the launcher features significant weight reduction and improvements for urban operations, Saab says.

Weight is likely under 20 pounds and the rate of fire is around six rounds per minute.

The original Carl Gustaf weapon was designed in 1946 for service beginning in 1948 by what was then Bofors Anti-Armor AB in Sweden. It was the army's main anti-tank weapon, similar to the U.S. Army Bazooka, British PIAT and German Panzerschreck.

But whereas ammunition for the U.S., British and German weapons uses fins for stabilization, Carl Gustaf ammunition uses a rifled barrel to spin its fin-less rounds.

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