The defense ministries of Estonia and Latvia have awarded Swedish defense major Saab contracts for the deliveries of Carl-Gustaf M4 anti-tank grenade launchers.
Saab announced the contract on Tuesday, the aim of which is to renew the Estonian short-range anti-tank capabilities and replace the older Carl-Gustaf M2's, which are nearing the end of their lifespan, Center for Defense Investment armament category manager Ramil Lipp told ERR's online news in Estonian.
The first weapons will be delivered in 2022, the last delivery is scheduled to take place in 2024. The new grenade launchers will be used in parallel with the M2 and M3 versions currently equipped by the Estonian Defense Forces.
"The new weapons use the same ammunition, therefore it is not necessary to procure new or different ammo. The training aspect is also important, as everything is known while handling the M4, as it's similar to M2 and M3 versions," Lipp remarked.
He added that the M4's advantage is its reduced mass. "If the M2 version weighed 14.2 kilos, the new weapon weighs half as much - just seven kilos," Lipp pointed out.
M4 gives users a wide range of engagement options and allows troops to remain agile and effective in any scenario, Saab writes on its website.
It builds on the system's formidable capabilities, offering a higher degree of accuracy, lighter construction and compatibility with future innovations. The M4 is also compatible with intelligent sighting systems and future technology developments, such as programmable ammunition, the company adds.
The orders are placed within a framework agreement signed by the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) in June 2019, which allows Sweden, Latvia and Estonia to place orders for Carl-Gustaf M4 weapon systems during a ten-year period.
The joint procurement resulted in a lower prices for both weapons and ammunition. "By virtue of the joint procurement we were able to save up to 30 percent compared to the previous framework on some articles. I can say we received this with a much better price and the quantity is sufficient to cover the defense needs of five years," Lipp said.
Since the launch in 2014, Saab has signed contracts with thirteen different nations for the Carl-Gustaf M4.
"We are pleased to announce Latvia and Estonia as our latest customers on Carl-Gustaf M4. Both nations have a history of more than two decades of Saab's Carl-Gustaf system. We look forward to further strengthen their ground combat capabilities with the latest version of the system," Görgen Johansson, head of Saab's business area Dynamics said.
Editor: Anders Nõmm