The U.S. Army announced on Wednesday that it is rapidly procuring more than 1,000 shoulder-fired 84mm recoilless rifles. (Carl-Gustaf M4, known as the M3E1 in the United States) The titanium Multi-Role Anti-Armor Anti-Personnel Weapon System, or MAAWS, is more than six pounds lighter than its earlier iteration, 2.5 inches shorter and has an improved carrying handle, extra shoulder padding and an improved sighting system.
The 22 lb M3 is easier than the 50 lb FGM-148 Javelin with its launcher with missile and reusable command launch unit, is faster than waiting on mortars, and is cheaper than the Javelin and artillery shells for engaging targets in hard cover.
Calibre: 84 mm rifled (24 lands, progressive twist)
Crew: 2 optimal, 1 minimal
Weights: 14.2 kg (M2); 8.5 kg (M3); 0.8 kg (mount); 7.0 kg (M4)
Length: 1.13m (M2); 1.07m (M3); 1.0m (M4)
Rate of fire: 6 rounds per minute
Sights: Iron sights, optical 3×, laser rangefinder, image intensification system
Tests have shown that the weapon can fire over 2000 rounds without wearing out.
The M3 MAAWS fires the following ammunition:
High Explosive Dual Purpose (HEDP) round
High Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT) round
High Explosive (HE) round
Older HEAT rounds are not particularly effective against modern tank armor, the weapon has found new life as a bunker-buster with an HEDP round. In addition, improved HEAT, high explosive (HE), smoke and illumination (star shell or flare) ammunition is also available.