The Goose Or Not The Goose

SHAH ALAM: The Goose or not the goose. The Army has a requirement for 110 units of 84mm recoilless anti-tank weapon for its combat units, according to an advertisement published by the Defence Ministry on May 25. The tender will be closing on 17 June. Although the specifications basically says it is the Carl Gustaf 84mm recoilless weapon system, all local importers can enter the request for bids.

Saab Carl Gustav Mk 4. Saab

Some of the specifications:

There is a requirement to equip light anti-tank weapon recoilless (RCL) for anti-armour platoon to counter the armoured threat in all phases of war including Operation in Build Up Area (OBUA). It is suitable to use in OBUA due to limited Line of Sight (LoS) and distance to engage enemy armoured threat. The weapon also shall possess multi-role usage to incapacitate enemy personnel, destroy bunkers and armoured vehicles. The weapon shall be able to fire various types of ammunition such as High Explosive (HE), High Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT),Anti-Structure, Anti-Personnel, High Explosive Dual Purpose (HEDP),Guided Munition, Smoke, Illumination and Target Practice (TP).

3.1 Mandatory. 3.1.1 Completeness. Launcher. system. Venturi locking lever. Trigger mechanism.

4.1 Mandatory. 4.1.1 Launcher. It shall be as follows: Calibre. 84 mm. Length. Not more than 1,000 mm. It shall be as follows: System Weight without Sighting Unit. Not more than 7 kg. System Weight with Sighting Unit. Not more than 9 kg. Rate of Fire. It shall be not less than six (6) rounds per minute. Cocking and Safety Lever. It shall be able to reach by the shooter easily without interrupting the handling of the weapon. Rail. It shall comply with MIL-STD 1913. Service Life. It shall be not less than 1,000 rounds. Safety Device. It shall be equipped with safety mechanism incorporated with the weapon system to prevent accidents.

Soldiers from the 10th Para Brigade at the 2019 Merdeka parade carrying the Carl Gustaf M2 version. PDRM picture

Based on the above specifications one would know that they want the Mark 4 version of the Carl Gustaf. Why the ministry is not making the deal directly with Saab or the Sweden Defence Procurement Agency to buy them is beyond me. Despite our own myopic procurement rules, government to government deal is allowed. As it is local importers – who will hike the price of each launchers (around $US20,000 (RM82,000) per unit – will make a small profit from the deal. It will be the Army which have to pony up around RM30,000 (for one unit) for the more exotic rounds for the launchers.

Getting ready to fire a Carl Gustaf from a G-wagen. BTDM

Apart from paying the local importers, the ministry have also to pay the multi-modal transport operator (MTO) to ship back the launchers here, admittedly the only ones who deserved to make some money from the deal.

An inspection of a Carl Gustaf with 10th Para Brigade in February 2020. BTDM.

Anyhow, the M4 version of the Goose would be beneficial to the soldiers who are assigned with the weapon as it is much lighter. The current M2 version weights a hefty 14kg, while the M4 is around 7kg or 9kg with the sights. This is of course a long over due procurement. The other Saab weapon we bought, though not officially, of course.

— Malaysian Defence

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