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Army, IAF Order Saab’s AT4 Urban Warfare Weapon For Destructive Firepower Against Terrorists
Swedish weapon can eliminate fighters holed up inside built-up spaces
Photo Credit : Saab
The single-shot, disposable AT4 provides firepower support to foot soldiers
Swedish Defence major on January 20 announced it has been awarded a contract for supplying the AT4, the 84 mm single shot weapon to the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force.
The contract has been awarded after a competitive procurement process. The Saab statement did not mention the quantum of the order or the value of the contract.
The order includes the variant for urban warfare, the AT4CS AST (anti-structure tandem warhead). This can be fired from inside confined spaces like buildings and bunkers to provide destructive firepower to Infantry or counter-terrorist forces.
“The AT4CS AST offers a tandem warhead with a breach or blast mode, which is optimised to defeat enemies within buildings and to destroy structures, which can create a point of access into them,” Saab stated. This makes it useful for counter-terrorist operations in urban settings in which terrorists often use the cover of built-up spaces in crowded localities.
Variants of these man-portable weapons weigh up to 7.5 kg and are disposable after a single shot. This recoilless weapon is operated by a single soldier.
The contract was signed by FFV Ordnance AB, responsible for Saab’s Ground Combat offer in India. The AT4 is one of the most popular support weapons for ground forces. It is also used by the US, French and Swedish Armies. India is a new customer but has long been using the Saab-designed Carl-Gustaf shoulder-fired weapon system, which is produced by Bharat Dynamics in India. The AT4 has features of the Carl-Gustaf.
“We are honoured that the Indian Armed Forces, which are already users of our Carl-Gustaf system, have also selected Saab for their single-shot weapon need. The Indian Army and Indian Air Force can be confident in the knowledge that they have the necessary firepower to give them the advantage,” said Görgen Johansson, head of Saab’s business area Dynamics.
“The AT4 systems are combat-proven across the world. They are lightweight, single-shot, fully disposable and truly characterized by its ease of use and handling. This selection of the system through a competitive process underscores Saab’s commitment to bring to Indian forces the latest systems,” said Ola Rignell, Chairman and Managing Director at Saab India.
The AT4 is an 84mm unguided anti-armour, anti-structure weapon. It is effective in assaulting tanks and combat vehicles, landing craft, helicopter, aircraft and armoured vehicles, besides destroying structures.
Aiming is through range-adjustable plastic sights, which can be covered up under the sliding covers. The weapon is equipped with an optical night sight. The AT4 warhead can penetrate through more than 17.5 inches of armour. The weapon has a minimum arming distance of 10m, which makes it suitable for hitting targets at short distance.
The AT4 can be fired with a range of projectiles, including HEAT (high-explosive anti-tank), AST (anti-structure tandem-warheads), ER, HE (high explosive), HP, and RS (reduced sensitivity). The projectile is preloaded into the launcher.
The AT4-CS (confined space) variant eliminates backblast to enable it to be fired from indoors to meet urban warfare requirements. AT4-CS uses saltwater countermass, which absorbs the backblast and slows down the pressure wave. It can be used against targets up to 270 metres.