Four customers in only two years – how is that possible?

Two years ago the Carl-Gustaf M4 was launched at the Association of the U.S. Army exhibition (AUSA) in Washington D.C. Now four customers have signed contracts on the system. How could a new system generate an interest like that in such a short time?

When Malcolm Arvidsson, product director for Carl-Gustaf, and his colleagues in 2011 decided to start the development of the new Carl-Gustaf weapon system they had, for many years, put a lot of effort in finding out what the customers needed and demanded to be able to operate in a flexible and versatile way on the modern battlefield. During their research they found out that a number of things were important to focus on in developing the next generation of the well-known and battle proven Carl-Gustaf system.

“When developing a new weapon for dismounted combat, a number of things are crucial to keep in mind in order to end up with a successful product.  Of these, the most important ones are system weight, system effectiveness, ergonomics and reliability. In short terms, focus on the needs of the warfighter”

In 2014 it was time for launch and at the place of launch, the AUSA exhibition in Washington DC, Malcolm and his team were able to showcase a system weighing less than 7 kg, with intelligent capabilities and with an ergonomic design making it easier for the single soldier to use it. Mission accomplished.

“We achieved the things we had taken upon us which was a very satisfying feeling of course. We knew that we had a system that many users out there demanded so it was perfect timing in many ways. It was a clear trend that more and more of tomorrow’s battles will take place in urban areas so it was around such scenarios we developed this system. We focused on flexibility and versatility during the entire project and we can now see the results”.  

Know the user
How come that after only two years Saab have four customers on this new system? Malcolm believes that the thorough analysis of the users’ needs was critical for the development and combined with the fact that the current Carl-Gustaf system has a broad customer base, the Carl-Gustaf M4 is a sought after system.

“We put enormous focus on preparatory work to ensure that we focused on the right things and this I think was one key to the success. When we launched, the timing was perfect. I would also like to emphasize that the work of the new system was carried out with excellent support from the whole organization which is always important when it comes to these kind of development projects. A fourth version of the system was the next natural step for us and together we made it possible. Why it has been a huge success so far? Because it is the perfect system for soldiers out there today. As simple as that.” 

The interest is increasing
Four customers are now signed, and with those four welcomed to the family the interest is just getting bigger and bigger.

“We basically got requests immediately after we launched it” says Malcolm. ”Both from countries using earlier versions of the Carl-Gustaf but also from countries that do not use it today. Our analysis is that this is just the beginning. The interest is enormous and the fact that we already have four customers is a very strong proof that the market trust us and our knowledge, right?”



Carl-Gustaf M4 - Key Facts   
(+ comparison with previous models)

M2: Weight: 14.2kg, Length: 1130mm
M3: Weight: 10kg, Length: 1065mm
M4: Weight: <7kg, Length: <1000mm

LIGHTER: Builds upon the success of its predecessor by offering an even shorter length and a weight of less than 7 kilos.

INTELLIGENT SIGHT: Compatible with intelligent sight systems, ensuring maximum effect in any tactical situation.

IMPROVED ERGONOMICS: Overall improved ergonomics enables soldiers to adjust the weapon to suit them. Includes an adjustable shoulder rest and front grip.

REDUCED ACTION TIME: Can be carried safely loaded to enable the user to act faster.

ROUND COUNTER: Integrated shot counter for improved logistics and maintenance.

FLEXIBLE: A wide range of ammunition types and sight options ensures unique flexibility for the multi-role Carl-Gustaf M4 user.