The US Army is set to deliver some heavy artillery to its regular units. The new Swedish-built weapon fires an 84-mm projectile nearly a mile. It is known as a “tank stopper.” Previously, it was reserved for special forces throughout the military, but after continued calls from troops on the ground that they needed more fire power, the Army is finally delivering it.
The U.S. Army is bringing in the really, really big guns.
Regular units will soon be issued a Swedish-built “recoilless” rifle that can fire an 84-mm. projectile nearly a mile and has the power to take out a tank. The 15-pound guns, which soldiers hold just above the shoulder to fire, were previously only issued to Special Forces. But after soldiers in Afghanistan repeatedly complained that insurgents were wise to the limitations of their M-16 rifles, the Pentagon has decided to make the Swedish-made Multi-Role Anti-Armor Anti-Personnel Weapon System (MAAWS)– or the M3 Carl Gustaf for short– standard issue.
“This weapon system is a game changer for the American warfighter,” John Belanger, a spokesperson for Saab, which manufactures the gun, told FoxNews.com. “Additionally, the M3 will provide our soldiers a cannon-caliber weapon that will reduce the dependence and cost associated to artillery and air support. Commanders now can deploy his units to any combat environment without overburdening his soldiers or need to trade lethality for portability.”
Belanger said the guns, which are equipped with a night-vision scope that runs alongside the massive barrel, will allow soldiers to “fix and destroy enemy targets day or night at ranges up to 1,250 meters.”
The weapons, which cost upwards of $20,000, are classified as recoilless rifles, but look more like rocket launchers — and pack a similar punch. Because they are held above the shoulder, much of the propelling force escapes out of the back, instead of being absorbed by the soldier’s body.