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The Australian Army has been testing a replacement for its current infantry weapon. The Army has been conducting operational test and evaluation of the man-portable 84 mm Carl-Gustaf M4 reloadable recoilless rifle at its School of Infantry in early May. The M4 will replace the army’s in-service M3 variant as it reaches its 10-year lifespan.
The process is driven by a universal requirement to reduce the load burden on ground combat operators. The M4 (weighing 6.3 kg) is lighter than the M3 (10 kg), with the length of the overall launcher reduced from 106.5 cm to less than 100 cm with the M4. Weight savings have been achieved through the development of an improved carbon fiber casing, the introduction of a titanium liner, among other improvements, according to janes.com.
The standard launcher sight is the same telescopic sight with a manual ballistic setting drum featured on the M3, although the M4 design is also optimized to interface with attachable intelligent sighting systems (Fire-Control System [FCS]) and new Carl-Gustaf programmable ammunition – essential discriminators in terms of improved precision and kill probability.
The M4 also features an adjustable shoulder rest and grip, along with a ‘transport safety’ function for the cocking lever, which enables the loaded round to be carried safely in combat.
The range of the new rifle is characterized by Saab as ‘munition-dependent’.