Sources – NDTV

by Vishnu Som

New Delhi: In a significant development toward self-reliance in defence manufacturing, Carl Gustaf M4, a recoilless multi-role rocket system widely used by the infantry, will be made in India. The manufacturing facility will be located in Haryana’s Jhajjar, reported NDTV.

Manufactured by SAAB, a Sweden-based company, received a 100 per cent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) approval from the Centre and will now produce the carl-Gustaf M4 system under SAAB FFVO India Private Limited.

“I am proud to start constructing our first facility outside Sweden for Carl-Gustaf, a product with a long history with the Indian Armed Forces. We look forward to starting production of our excellent product, now engineered and made in India”, says Gorgen Johansson, Senior Vice President and Head of SAAB’s business area Dynamics.

“Today is an important milestone for Sweden and India. SAAB’s factory will be the first foreign fully-owned defence production facility in India. It is a testament to the strong bilateral relationship between our countries,” says Hakan Jevrell, State Secretary for Foreign Trade, Sweden.

Carl-Gustaf has been in service with the Indian Army since 1976 and has been used extensively in counter-terrorism/insurgency operations. It’s a portable, shoulder-fired, single-shot, rocket system that is used for destroying tanks and built-up structures. It is seen as a game changer in urban combat. The M4 variant, which will be manufactured in India, is the latest variant. The origins of Carl Gustaf can be traced to World War II, the fourth-generation variant is the latest.

“We will partner with Indian suppliers and will fully meet the requirements of “Make in India” for the systems manufactured in the facility. At the new factory, SAAB will deploy complex technologies, including the latest sighting technology and advanced carbon fibre-winding to manufacture Carl-Gustaf M4 for the Indian armed forces, and components which may be included in other users’ systems,” SAAB said.

One of the components of the Centre’s Aatmanirbhar or self-reliance project is to build a domestic defence infrastructure with public-private participation.

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Carl Gustaf – A Choice of Urban Combat

Fighting in Built-up Areas (FIBUA), in other words, an area dense with buildings and structures will entail lethal urban warfare, posing severe challenges for the Israeli ground troops and armoured units. The Indian Army has witnessed urban warfare and troops have been extensively used in Jammu and Kashmir, the northeast, Punjab, etc. Carl Gustaf has been a mainstay of several forces around the world including India.

The system can fire various ammunitions like High Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT), High Explosive (HE) to anti-structure munition and High Explosive Dual Purpose (HEDP) and multi-target ammo that can be used against tanks and Infantry Fighting Vehicles. The weapon can be switched between anti-tank and anti-personnel roles.

The war in Ukraine and Israel’s offensive in Gaza brought focus on the future of warfare, with the attention on fighting in built-up areas. Ukraine calls Carl Gustaf the “slayer of Russian tanks” after it claimed to have destroyed Russian T-90 tanks.

The HEDP 502 round is a high-explosive, dual-purpose round optimised for fighting in built-up areas. It is as effective against armoured vehicles as it is against enemies protected by structures like sandbags and brick and wooden walls. The round has both an impact and a delay mode.

“It can be used to illuminate battlefields during night-time operations. The ammunition can be used for both full-scale operations and low-intensity conflicts,” SAAB said.