US Army light infantry units are to be equipped with the Saab 84 mm Carl Gustaf M3 Multi-role Anti-Armor Anti-Personnel Weapon System (MAAWS) as a standard issue tactical support weapon by late 2016.
The M3 is now officially an organic weapon system within each army combat platoon, and will initially be fielded within selected Infantry Brigade Combat Teams (IBCTs), which will now train, maintain, and sustain the M3 as part of the IBCT organisational structure. Going forward, all brigade combat teams will receive 27 Carl Gustaf launchers, about one per platoon.
Select US Army active duty and National Guard components have already begun receiving the M3 MAAWS, and beginning this year units equipped with the system will be able to train and qualify on the weapon system in their home bases. The US Army’s Standards in Training Commissions (STRAC) allocations, outlined in the DA PAM 350-38, will authorize M3 MAAWS gunners and assistant gunners to qualify and maintain combat proficiency annually with live-fire exercises.
The 84mm recoilless rifles fire a wide variety of warheads, including high explosive rounds for both personnel and structures, high explosive anti tank (HEAT), smoke, illumination, and high explosive dual purpose (HEDP) rounds. It has an effective range of 1,200 meters and provides higher accuracy and greater range than weapons like the M72 LAW, while being far less expensive than systems like the Javelin missile.
Fielding of the M3 CG to regular units has been in the works since at least 2013.
Sources: Jane’s International Defence Review and The Firearm Blog