While Saab’s Carl-Gustaf has been a mainstay of the Indian Armed Forces in specific roles since the mid-1970s, the recent acquisition of the single-shot AT4 increases the capability.
One of the key tenets of defence thinking is the ability to conduct military operations in congested areas (MOBUA). This is defined broadly as the ability to conduct operations in densely populated areas with the fewest casualties and collateral damage. The main capabilities of MOBUA are firepower, force protection, and maneuverability. In terms of defence, urban areas would increasingly be the site of insurgency, low-intensity conflict, or full-fledged war. MOBUA actions take place in an area with infrastructure, where tactical operations are complicated by the presence of non-combatants. As a result, these operations typically involve small detachments with a high risk of troops being attacked.
Significance of AT4 for the Indian Army
The Indian Armed Forces are looking for AT4, specifically the AT4CS AST, which can be fired from confined spaces such as buildings, bunkers, and other urban environments. The AT4CS AST has a tandem warhead with a breach or blast mode that is optimized for defeating enemies within buildings and destroying structures that can provide an entry point into them.
The AT4 thus improves the soldier’s ability to fight urban battles, which is a common enough scenario in recent warfare, where armies have become entangled in long-drawn urban battles with both state and non-state actors. Soldiers hampered by recoil have frequently had to expose themselves in order to engage the enemy, attracting fire on themselves.
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The Indian Armed Forces will also benefit greatly from AT4’s confined space capability. The AT4’s use of a seawater counter-mass allows it to be used in enclosed spaces and close to walls without endangering the operator or those around him. That means AT4-equipped troops are prepared for anything. With all mission-critical capabilities in place, including night and confined space capabilities, AT4 soldiers can act quickly without worrying about whether the surrounding environment is safe for weapon discharge. When needed, the 84mm caliber provides more than adequate performance.
Furthermore, due to its single-use nature, the AT4 is light and disposable, making it ideal for quick movement in urban environments, difficult terrains, and places with limited access. Aside from being lighter, AT4 provides its users with ease of use and handling. A dismounted soldier, regardless of experience level, simply aims fire and destroys the target before discarding the empty tube.
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Disposable weapons are frequently easier to use than reloadable weapons with sophisticated functions. To begin with, the ease of use means that soldiers with only basic training can be deployed with a weapon like the AT4. We’re talking about a day or two of training.
The AT4 family has been extensively tested in combat and has proven to be a highly reliable, robust, and durable weapon system. Its key features include a high target effect and hit probability, resulting in a high hit rate for each weapon fired. Today’s dismounted forces require ground combat systems designed to meet the requirements of highly specialized missions in order to remain operational and effective. The new-generation AT4 family of lightweight, shoulder-launched, commercially available support weapons is the result of Saab’s innovative thinking. The family includes variants designed to meet the diverse and ever-changing needs of ground forces.
Also read: 5 Types Of Artillery Guns Used By Indian Army
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