After years of use by selected units, the Carl Gustaf recoilless rifle will soon be standard issue for every infantry platoon in the US Army.
Though has been used by Special Operations Forces for years, only a handful of regular Army units have been issued the Carl Gustaf recoilless rifle. However, that is about to change with the recent decision to make the Carl Gustaf an organic weapon system in every infantry platoon in the Army.
Known officially as the M3 Multi-Role Anti-Armor Anti-Personnel Weapon System (MAAWS), the Carl Gustaf is an Swedish designed 84mm recoilless rifle intended for use against armored vehicles, buildings, and bunkers. It is used by dozens of Armies from all over the world including Australia (depicted in the featured image), the Canada, the Germany, the Norway, and the United Kingdom.
In addition to use by American Special Operations Forces, other units in the US Army have used the Carl Gustaf with a great deal of success in Afghanistan after submitting special operational needs statements for it. Under the new plan, each platoon in the Army would receive a single recoilless rifle.
The reason behind the new fielding is to give Soldiers more flexibility when engaging opponents in the battlefield. The breech-loading Carl Gustaf is intended to supplement the single-use AT-4 anti-tank rocket and the Javelin anti-tank missile currently in the Army’s inventory.
In addition to being reloadable, the Carl Gustaf has a much longer effective range and greater armor penetrating capability than the AT-4. It is also significantly lighter and cheaper than the Javelin, though it will not penetrate as much armor as the Javelin will.
What do you think about the decision to make the Carl Gustaf a standard fixture in every infantry platoon? I personally think it is a great idea and I submitted a special operational needs statement for my personal use, but the request was denied by my wife.