Estonia's defense forces get 400 Swedish Carl-Gustaf M4 grenade launchers

The Estonian Defense Forces (EDF) has taken delivery of 400 more Swedish-made Carl-Gustaf M4 grenade launchers, in a joint procurement with Latvia's defense forces.

"Supplied from Sweden, these weapons will exponentially increase close-range anti-tank performance and replace the former Carl-Gustaf M2 models already in use," Ramil Lipp, Center for Defense Investments (RKIK) Armament Category Manager, said.

"The new grenade launchers will be used in parallel with the older M2 and M3 grenade launchers currently in the EDF inventory. One of our priorities is investing in anti-tank weapons, which we have done so far and will continue to do in the coming years."

The weapons have been purchased from SAAB.

EDF Chief Weapons Officer Maj. Risto Pärtel said: "The new weapons are in use in the units and the transition to the new weaponry has been swift, as the handling of the M4 is similar to that of the previous model. The soldiers are happy with the grenade launcher, which is more compact and better than the previous model."

Carl-Gustav M4 grenade launcher being used in a training exercise. Source: RKIK

Ramil Lipp noted: "It is also very gratifying that this is another successful close cooperation project between neighboring countries, which will result in improved anti-tank performance not only for Estonia but for the entire Baltic region."

The new variant has the capability to use various types of grenades: Armor-piercing, multi-purpose ammunition, anti-personnel and smoke and illumination rounds.

The inclusion of the weapon in the EDF's arsenal follows a need for strong anti-armor capabilities and as a fire support tool for the division.

The new weapon is lighter, shorter, more accurate and with a faster operational speed than its predecessor.

 For instance, whereas the M2 weighed 14.2kg, the M4 is around half that weight, and 13cm shorter in length.

Estonian Defense Forces using Carl-Gustav M4s. Source: Dmitri Fedotkin/ERR

The RKIK inked the deal with Defense Materiel Administration and Saab in June 2019, while Latvia joined in with the procurement last year.

Estonia is among 13 countries that have ordered the latest version of the Carl-Gustaf model.

Carl-Gustaf grenade launchers are used by the U.S. and several other NATO members.

Founded in 2017m, the RKIK's main task is to allow the EDF to focus on their core military tasks and to maximize the defense capability created and organizes procurements for the Ministry of Defense and its agencies, as well as the EDF.

Annual procurements total over €350 million in value, while the maintenance of existing stock costs around €70 million per annum, RKIK said.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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