The Australian Defence Force has taken delivery of 437 new Carl Gustav 84 mm recoilless guns and thermal sights, Australia’s Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare announced yesterday.
The 437 new guns are the improved M3 model and will supplement the existing M2 Carl Gustav gun.
The weapons and sights have been delivered over the past 12 months. The final instalment was delivered to 7th Battalion inSouth Australia last month, the Australian ministry of defence announced.
They are being used by Special Forces and Mentoring Taskforce 3 (MTF-3) in Afghanistan and have also been delivered to other Army units and the Air Force.
MTF-3 was the first Mentoring Taskforce to be deployed with the new weapon.
“The feedback from soldiers is that it is very effective,” Clare said. “It is used to knock down walls and blow up bunkers. It can also fire smoke filled ammunition and lights to improve soldiers’ visibility at night.
“Both the gun and sight are proven capabilities but Australia is the first country to use both as an integrated weapon system.
“The new gun combined with the thermal sight provides increased firepower and a night fighting capability.
“The gun barrel is made from composite materials instead of steel which also makes the weapon lighter for soldiers to carry.”
Clare also announced that the supply of ammunition for the 84 mm Carl Gustav weapon has been secured with the signing of a long term agreement with Saab Dynamics AB.
The agreement is a Standing Offer to supply the ammunition over the next five years and has a potential value of up to AU$110 million.
Defence has now taken delivery of the first order of the ammunition under the Standing Offer.
The 84 mm recoilless gun can be fired from the standing, kneeling, sitting or prone positions and a bipod may be attached in front of the shoulder piece.
It is normally operated by a two-man crew, one carrying and firing the weapon, the other carrying ammunition and reloading.