U.S. Army orders recoilless rifles

Sept. 27, 2012 at 2:26 PM
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LINKOPING, Sweden, Sept. 27 (UPI) -- The U.S. Army has ordered more man-portable recoilless rifles from Swedish defense company Saab.

Saab's Carl-Gustaf is an 84mm weapon initially used as an anti-tank weapon but now is considered multipurpose. It weighs 19 pounds, can be fired from the shoulder or using a bipod. With two soldiers operating it (one as a loader) it fires about six rounds a minute. One soldier can operate the weapon but with a reduced firing rate.

U.S. Special Operations Forces have long had the recoilless rifle in their inventory but the Army is fielding it with regular infantry forces.

Saab said the latest order from the U.S. Army is worth about $31 million but it didn't disclose the number of weapons to be provided.

"This is another great milestone for Saab and the Carl-Gustaf system," said Tomas Samuelsson, senior vice president and head of Saab's Dynamics business area Dynamics business area. "This new order demonstrates the continued belief by the customer in the capabilities and versatility of our product."

"The fact that the U.S. Army continues its plans to deploy this game-changing weapon system to its main-line units speaks for itself," Saab North America President Dan-Åke Enstedt said. "The Carl-Gustaf has repeatedly proven itself in the most demanding environments and it is a versatile, powerful tool for the soldier."

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