Sweden to build new Carl-Gustaf M4 rocket launcher in India - Broadsword by Ajai Shukla - Strategy. Economics. Defence.

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Tuesday 27 September 2022

Sweden to build new Carl-Gustaf M4 rocket launcher in India

Saab says the legacy supply chain that has built the M3 rocket launcher in India can conveniently switch to building the new M4 version


By Ajai Shukla

Business Standard, 28th Sept 22


Since 1976, Indian infantry platoons have been equipped with the 84 millimetre (mm) Carl-Gustaf M3 rocket launcher, developed by Swedish weapons giant, Saab, and manufactured by India’s Ordnance Factory Board (OFB). 


This versatile weapon has proved to be a lethal infantry weapon against enemy tanks. It has also proved deadly in Jammu & Kashmir, blowing up enemy bunkers, or outhouses where militants have taken shelter.


But now Saab believes the obsolescent Carl-Gustaf M3, which is still in service with numerous militaries worldwide, is ready to be replaced by a new-generation M4 version of the rocket launcher. With the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) promoting the “Make in India” policy, Saab has applied to set up a manufacturing facility in India to build the new Carl-Gustaf M4 rocket launcher.


The new M4 version, which is carried and fired by a two-man crew, has a longer range of 1,500 metres, a sophisticated new sighting system that makes it difficult to miss the target and weighs just 7.5 kg – against the 11 kg of the M3 version. Production in the new facility is planned to start in 2024.


Neither the MoD, nor the army, have shown interest yet in buying the new rocket launcher. But Saab clearly believes that they will some day. Until then, India would be the manufacturing and supply hub from which Saab can supply the M4 Carl-Gustaf to militaries around the world.


Addressing the World Economic Forum at Davos last January, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had raised the slogan: “Make in India; Make for the world.”


“The new company Saab FFV India, currently under registration, will make the latest generation of the state-of-the-art [rocket launcher] in India. Saab will also be partnering with Indian sub-suppliers and the systems manufactured in the facility will fully meet the requirements of ‘Make in India’, Saab stated in a press release on Tuesday. 


Saab has applied for a manufacturing licence for a 100 per cent Saab subsidiary. There is a 74 per cent cap on foreign ownership of defence firms, and 100 per cent foreign ownership is permitted only when there is going to be an inflow of high technology. Saab says it will cross that bar, with the latest technologies going into the 84 mm Carl-Gustaf M4.


“Saab FFV India will deploy complex technologies including the latest sighting technology and apply advanced manufacturing techniques like carbon fibre winding for the Carl-Gustaf system including the latest M4 weapon,” stated Saab.


Given that the Indian Army is one of the world’s biggest users of the M3 version of the Carl-Gustaf rocket launcher, and the M3 is manufactured in India, it is only natural for the Indian army to graduate to the “Made in India” Carl-Gustaf M4said Görgen Johansson, a senior Saab executive.


Saab believes that its partnership with the OFB, and with the OFB’s new, corporatized versions – Munitions India Limited (MIL) and Advanced Weapons and Equipment India Limited (AWEIL) – which manufactured the Carl-Gustaf M3 and its ammunition, positions it nicely to switch to manufacturing the M4 version of the rocket launcher.


Indian companies have already been incorporated into a full-fledged supply chain for manufacturing the M3 version of the Carl-Gustaf in the OFB. Saab believes this supply chain can be transformed into one that will support the M4.

1 comment:

  1. # "This versatile weapon has proved to be a lethal infantry weapon against enemy tanks" - and where have these been used to any great effect against 'enemy tanks'. it has an effective range of four hundred metres for a stationary AFV -period!. this rocket launcher is popular in urban operations as it can be effective against enemy in building, reinforced bunkers, in defilade [the last with its airburst ammunition]. are you envisaging a scenario in which nark's forces have moved into fazilka, sringanganagar, abohar, firozpur, amritsar, pathankot, jammu and while being protected within their AFV are overcoming defenders, resistance. or chandal are in tezpur, leh
    for urban operations, rocket launchers are carried by the platoon's weapons squad to support the three rifle squads. platoons operating in urban settings typically do not know what kind of enemy to expect, what kind of capabilities they could have, what sort of structure [bunker, or building] the enemy to be neutralized is sitting in.
    and most important, in urban operations the NCO is critical. but, in the indian army NCOs are useless, they are simply sepoys with stripes, havildarjee, naiksa'ab! soldiers do not even understand fire-control; not even in the special forces. once they begin firing our jawans keep firing till they run out of pouch ammunition. any enemy worth his salt knows this about indian soldiers. 10 para SF jaffna university football ground; 21 para SF mons, nagaland.


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