SHAH ALAM: Back in May, 2021, Malaysian Defence reported that a tender for the supply of 110 launchers of an 84mm anti-tank was floated in the Eperolehan website. Unfortunately, three months later, Malaysian Defence wrote that this tender was cancelled, as usual for no apparent reason. I was told recently, the tender was cancelled as no company had placed a bid for it. Despite it was not named, the tender was for procurement of the Saab Carl Gustav M4 recoilless rifle.
On, July 2022, another tender for the 84mm anti weapon or the Carl Gustav M4 – the latest version of the recoilless rifle – was floated on the Eperolehan website. Malaysian Defence did not report this tender as I did not notice it on Eperolehan.
The specifications called for the same number of launchers – 110 and undetermined number of seven types of ammunition. The seven types of ammunition include high explosive anti-tank; high explosive dual purpose; anti-structure; anti-personnel, anti-deterrent; smoke and illumination. Some of these are guided munitions.
And when I checked the website yesterday, the Letter of Award or contract for the tender was awarded to Global Combined Technology Sdn Bhd. The contract is listed at RM27 million.
I was told that more Carl Gustav will be purchase soon as the Army intends to replace its other older anti-tank and anti-structure weapons. The Goose with its guided munitions will be cheaper replacements and more accurate than some of these weapons.
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So after dabbling with NLAW, they went back to more Goose huh?
Don’t mean to be pedantic but what older anti-tank and anti-structure weapons are there? The C90s have been replaced by M-72s and I would assume the Carl Gustav Mk2s will be replaced by the Mk4s. Also, unlike disposable shoulder mounted weapons which are issued at section level the Carl Gustavs are operated by Support Companies.
The numbers of the M4 launchers for the initial batch would be enough to equip each section in the PARA brigade with 2 launchers.
This would enable the current heavy M2 to be handed down to other infantry battalions.
… – ”So after dabbling with NLAW, they went back to more Goose huh?”
That was always the intention and no ”dabbling”. Both are intended for slightly different purposes. The NLAW is only for a select few units and primarily as an AT weapon.
In contrast the Carl Gustav can fire smoke and illum and practically every infantry battalion has had a handful of Carl Gustavs since the 1970’s.
… – ”The numbers of the M4 launchers for the initial batch would be enough to equip each section in the PARA brigade with 2 launchers.”
Incorrect. That’s not what the numbers indicate.
Carl Gustavs are almost never operated at section level; except maybe by SOF/SF units.
In other units they are a battalion asset; operated by Support Companies; each comprising a Mortar Platoon; AT Platoon; MG Platoon; etc. With only 9-8 men a section; having 2 Carl Gustavs as a section weapon would be somewhat problematic given they each require a crew of 2.
NLAWs are disposable single use weapons.
Carl Gustafs M4 are lightweight recoiless rifles that can fire multitudes of different shells. Earlier Carl Gustafs are heavy weapons. The latest M4 weighs less than 8kg, similar in weight to RPG-7s.
In Ukraine, we have seen Carl Gustafs used almost like a personal artillery, with the system continuously reloaded and fired.
I can see the M4 used like the RPG-7 at section level, unlike M2 used in fire support companies.
This past few years, we have not seen the PARAs lugging the RPG-7. Maybe the RPG-7s will remain mostly for Mechanized formations, while the PARAs will be equipped with M4s.
“primarily as an AT weapon”
Which is why its important to know what is the intended requirement of the weapon. As a primary AT, the CG isn’t that effective (compared to NLAW) but rather its more a general purpose use that could launch different types of rounds. NLAW otoh cannot do much anything else except as an AT weapon. Because the original tender was for an AT weapon which is why I bought up the NLAW.
… – ”NLAWs are disposable single use weapons.”
Ta for the update.
… – ”Carl Gustafs M4 are lightweight recoiless rifles that can fire multitudes of different shells.”
It is still intended to be issued to Support Companies and the older Mk2 could/can also fire smoke/illum which is what we used it quite a bit for. At the end of the day; despite you thinking it’s a grand brilliant idea idea the Carl Gustav will not be a section level weapon.
… – ”In Ukraine, we have seen Carl Gustafs used almost like a personal artillery”
”In Ukraine, we have seen” various things utilised at sustained rates not seen since the 1973 war or Vietnam due to the fact that the conflict is a high intensity one.
… – ”I can see the M4 used like the RPG-7 at section level”
I don’t doubt you can ”see” various things but the reality is that the Carl Gustav is a crew served weapon requiring a crew of two which does not make it practical to be operated by a 8-9 men section. Same reason why most would not issue a MG-3 or MAG 58 at section level.
… – ”Maybe the RPG-7s will remain mostly for Mechanized formations, while the PARAs will be equipped with M4s.”
”Maybe” a lot of things can happen but if we stick to the realm of reality the Paras still have their RPGs at section level and will have their Support Company Carl Gustav Mk2s replaced by Mk4s. Note that in every other army despite being ”lightweight” [a subjective term by itself especially if one has to lug it] the Carl Gustav Mk4 is not issued at section level and there’s legitimate reasons for this; irrespective of the fact that you think it’s a grand idea for it to be a section weapon.
We still use other weapons systems that are even older than Carl gustav M2 so the only way the army is ditching the M2 entirely is if the launcher itself is so clapped that the rifled groove already worn out which necessitates the need for replacement (which isn’t going to be anytime soon. )They’re probably being handed down to either the TA boys or put as reserve stocks
For context, South Korean military uses M67 recoilless rifle until today despite M67 being older and comparatively less capable than M2 CG. They licensed produced both the launcher and munitions for M67 recoilless rifle
Why are you so embittered by the notion that Anwar and Erdogan are buddies?
In the tender specs, it is clearly stated that the Carl Gustaf will equip anti-armour platoons.
Also from the tender specs, it seems that they are buying the standard HEAT round (HEAT 551) and not the one with tandem warhead (HEAT 751) that can penetrate ERA tiles.
dundun – ”We still use other weapons systems that are even older than Carl gustav M2 ”
Yes but the discussion was on shoulder fired weapons. What pray tell shoulder fired weapon operated is older than the Car lGustav.
dundun – ”is if the launcher itself is so clapped that the rifled groove already”
They were reworked on some years ago by SME with help from Saab.
dundun – ”Why are you so embittered by the notion that Anwar and Erdogan are buddies?”
Wrong question/wrong assumption. I’m not ”embittered” in any way. I get annoyed and slighty amused when people [are you one of them?] simplistically assume that just because both know each other that we’ll get ”friendship” prices. Erdogan is mates with many people and as for ”friendship” prices one doesn’t need to be mates. All one needs to do is express a genuine desire to buy and in the right quantities. We buy in small quantities and with no indication we’ll ever buy more.
I have made this clear before.
hafiz – ”In the tender specs, it is clearly stated that the Carl Gustaf will equip anti-armour platoons.”
AT Platoons which together with MG Platoons; Mortar Platoon and others; are part of Support Companies which are under the direct command of the battalion Co . Yes.
hafiz – ”it seems that they are buying the standard HEAT round”
We’ll just have to wait and see what we’re getting. We’ve long had HE, HEAT, smoke and illumination rounds.
I agree with Azlan..
I, for one, am sick and tired of this silly and childish notion that because Anwar and Erdogan are ‘mates’, Malaysia is going to get a free magic carpet ride from the Turks. The real adult world does not work that way.
Have more pride is all I can say.
The old heavy CGs will flow to the TAs. Even during the 70s TA s have been practising on the CGs.
Just to add t9 the debate. A platoon is already equipped with the 60mm mortars n the men already need to carry 2 to 4 rounds each. Having to lug extra chains of ammo for the Gimpy n bullets for the section LMG is already a heavy burden for each poor soldier to lug
Some could call the CG as an antitank just because it has AT type round but I question how effective it really is in the dedicated AT role, since it only has an 84mm sized round so how much it could penetrate against modern tank armour with ERA & DU plating.
who else other than america has tanks with du plating?
“Some could call the CG as an antitank just because it has AT type round”.
Because for many years it was the main AT weapon of various armies [the Brits only got the infantry operated MILAN in the early 1980’s] and for a long period it could penetrate MBTs which were likely to be encountered; i.e.
T-54/55s, T-62s, early model
T-72s, etc. For various armies including ours it was the main means to lay smoke and illum.
Fast forward to 2023 a tandem HEAT 84mm warhead [just like a a 40mm one] will penetrate various parts of a current gen MBT [engine area; rear or or sides of a turret; etc] or cause serious damage.
A backstory. Small quantities of M-2s provided to the Khmer resistance by Singapore. We only conducted training.
“other than america has tanks with du plating?”
Only America publicised they have DU, doesn’t mean others do not equipped such as well.
CG is a recoilless rifle, which is basically a low pressure gun.
At ranges less than 500m, it has a higher velocity compared to rockets such as the RPG-7
In the context of use by the Malaysian army, the CG could penetrate all IFVs in the region. There is only a few other tanks with ERA (oplot, vt-4, t-90) and none with DU. What it excels compared to other anti-tank systems is its cheapness, and also multi-role with various specialized shells that can be used against enemy infantry and also structures. Its current renaissance as a weapon of choice is due to the significant reduction in weight to make it a truly manportable weapon system. It is a backpack artillery that the infantry can bring along to give dollops of firepower against the enemy.
… – ”CG is a recoilless rifle, which is basically a low pressure gun.”
A pertinent fact which we’re all undoubtedly aware of. On the other end of the spectrum is/was the Folgore; also a RCL able to be fired from the shoulder if needed but the size of a 747 and the weight of elephant’s bollocks.
… – ” There is only a few other tanks with ERA (oplot, vt-4, t-90) and none with DU. ”
Even if they were; a the tandem warhead would probably defeat older gen bricks like K1/K2.
As it stands the Carl Gustav is not intended to be used frontally against well protected MBTs and there are MBTs with no ERA which the Carl Gustav would struggle to penetrate frontally; i.e. Leopard…
… – ”due to the significant reduction in weight to make it a truly manportable weapon system.”
Lighter and shorter than a Mk2 but still a burden to anyone who has to lug it around on foot for protracted period and who has his helmet, belt order and other things; thus ”manportable” is subjective; especially to those who have to lug it. I’ve lugged a much lighter camera tripod for hours in the jungle : no joy. I’ve had a pack weighting only 7-8 kilos on me when I did my field trip with the CCF many years ago in much cooler weather and no direct sunlight : no joy.
” can bring along to give dollops of firepower against the enemy.”
Have no idea what ”dollops” means [a wee bit too dramatic for my taste in this context] but in simpler language like other shoulder fired weapons it has multi role utility; AT, anti structure; AP and to lay smoke and illum. As a Support Company weapon it complements other shoulder fired weapons operated at section level.
“will penetrate various parts of a current gen MBT”
And that’s the thing. Compared to more modern AT weapons ie Javelin, its efficacy and ability to penetrate tank armour from any direction has reduced a lot. It was an effective AT weapon back in the Cold War, not so much today. As hulubalang mentioned, its role in the modern era is more of a recoilless rifle and longevity is due to its adaptable roles with the various types of munitions it could fire, but lets not kid ourselves that it is a dedicated AT weapon.
Joe, I don’t think anyone intends to use the CG will be used as a dedicated AT weapon, that is what the new ATGM tender is for.
Interestingly, the british army, after decades retiring the CG, is currently buying the CG M4 as a partial replacement of the NLAW ATGM donated to Ukraine.
“thus ”manportable” is subjective; especially to those who have to lug it”
it is equally “manportable” when compared to the other section-level shoulder fired weapon, the RPG-7
Carl Gustaf M4
weight : 6.6kg
length : 95cm
weight : 7kg with sights
length : 95cm
… – “it is equally “manportable”
Who said it wasn’t? Ultimately, easy to say something is “manportable” when one doesn’t have to lift it while also wearing a helmet, belt order and other things. Despite being so called “lightweight” [sounds great on promotional literature] there are reasons why by and large nobody issues Carl Gustavs at section level.
Operated by SF/SOF for brief periods and might have lift and operated by infantry units who tend to be on foot for protected periods can be wee different.