CANBERRA, Australia, Feb. 26 (UPI) -- BAE Systems has won a $14 million contract to supply a targeting system for the army's new Carl Gustaf M3 weapons.
More than 400 of the uncooled AN/PAS-13C thermal weapon sights have been ordered for the crew-served shoulder-fired 84mm direct-fire weapons.
The deal comes as the government confirmed that last year it completed a contract for the latest version of the M3 multi-purpose weapon in a $6.2 million deal with manufacturer Saab Bofors Dynamics in Sweden. No date was given for the signing.
Greg Combet, minister for Defense Personnel, Materiel and Science, said in a statement the lighter-weight weapon would be for infantry, special forces and airfield defense guards.
Combet gave no details of numbers of weapons purchased and Saab has not commented, media reports said. But the BAE Systems order for 400 sights is an indication of general numbers, analysts said.
The BAE sights can be used for day or night operations as well as in adverse conditions such as smoke and dust.
The sights are self-contained and eliminate the need for cables and day-night mode switching. They can also be used for surveillance off-weapon through a quick release mount, according to Ian Sharp, director of BAE Systems Australia's Land Business Unit.
"They are a reliable, lightweight and simple to use, combined imaging and sighting systems for all conditions. Users are able to rapidly convert to the new sight from the Carl Gustaf's current day-only sight," Sharp said.
"The military off-the-shelf sight is manufactured by BAE System's Electronics, Intelligence & Support business in the United States. More than 50,000 are in use on a dozen weapon types operating across coalition forces, a BAE statement said.
Sharp said BAE's Australian team worked closely with the Saab design team to integrate the sight to the Carl Gustaf within just 90 days for program trials.
"The sight performed so well during trials on the Carl Gustaf launcher that it has now been adopted for other crew-served weapons in several other countries and has been fielded in theater in Afghanistan through Urgent Operational Requirements."
The original Carl Gustaf 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 these weapons used ammunition with fins for stabilization, the Carl Gustaf used a rifled barrel to spin its rounds.
M3 MAAWS is the U.S. designation for the Carl Gustaf M3, but soldiers will refer to it as the goose. It is primarily used by United States Special Operations Command forces such as the Army Special Forces, 75th Ranger Regiment, Navy SEALS, Delta Force and Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command MARSOC. When in use with the 75th Ranger Regiment M3 is known as the Ranger Antitank Weapons System.