Externally, the new Carl-Gustaf HE-448 is not much different from its predecessors in this family, the first of which appeared back in 1948. The weapon turned out to be so successful that its current heirs are only a deep modernization with the same hollow rifled pipe at its core. But now the launch tube is shorter - a little less than a meter compared to 1130 millimeters in the previous version, and lighter - about seven kilograms (9.5 kilograms).
In fact, the Swedes turned the latest modification of the Carl-Gustaf M4 grenade launcher into a whole complex, adding three new components: the FCD-558 fire control module with a computer and sighting optics provided by Hensoldt - an improved optics with a fourfold increase, and Aimpoint - a red dot sight FCS14 RE. This scope can also be used with the Theon night vision attachment, which adds about half a kilo to the combined weight of the optic and scope.
According to the manufacturer, the sight can also be used with other types of weapons: 40mm automatic grenade launcher, 12.7mm machine gun, and 20mm automatic cannon.
Soon, instead of this optics, it will be possible to choose an optoelectronic one, which is now being finalized by the Finnish company Senop. She creates an integrated daytime thermal imaging device AFCD TI. It is planned to finish debugging interaction with the Swedish grenade launcher next year.
But the main element, of course, is the HE-448 grenade, which is connected to the fire control device through a specially developed program called Firebolt (“Lightning”). The computer collects information about the state of the environment through its temperature, air pressure and wind sensors, and also measures the distance to the target. The grenade reports data on the type of ammunition (you can shoot from Carl-Gustaf with about ten different ammunition - anti-personnel, smoke, blinding, armor-piercing, universal, and so on) and the temperature of the powder charge in the accelerator.
The processor processes all the data and gives the shooter the best shot angle. The fighter can only choose one of three methods of detonation, depending on the nature of the target (this option only works with the HE-448): contact, delayed or air. The latter option is especially effective for striking at enemy soldiers who are on the offensive or hiding behind shelters and in trenches.
The new ammunition has an increased firing range - up to 1200 meters. It is lighter than its predecessor, the HE-441, and generates more fragments, with an impact area of up to 400 square meters.
In the marketing show at the training ground in Karlskog, Saab included shooting at a virtual enemy infantry unit, as well as at a real tank. The choice of an armored target in the current political realities of Sweden, which has decided to join NATO, is quite logical. The Swedes chose the Soviet-made T-72 tank so that future allies would have no doubts - Stockholm is abandoning the policy of non-alignment, which it has adhered to since the end of the Napoleonic Wars, and sees the enemy in the same place as future allies from the alliance.
Thus, the development of a new basic version of the Carl-Gustaf grenade launcher has been completed and is ready to enter the global arms market. Deliveries of grenade launchers with the HE-448 cartridge to the Swedish military will begin next year and will last until 2025. After showing the capabilities of the grenade launcher, Denmark also made its order, the dimensions of which were not disclosed.