The top Marine wants to kit out every rifle squad with the 84mm recoilless rifle known as the Carl Gustaf and those launchers will start to find their way into the hands of Marines potentially by 2020.
The decision to supply the multimission Gustaf to the grunts was part of an effort by Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Robert B. Neller’s modernization efforts to make the force more lethal.
Marine Corps Systems Command says the Corps plans to buy about 1,073 launchers and a contract should be awarded between March-April 2019.
“This is an Army led program and the Marine Corps will be leveraging their existing contract for the launchers,” Barbara Hamby, a spokeswoman with Marine Corps Systems Command said. “The earliest fielding is planned to begin either in the second half of fiscal 2020 or the first part of fiscal 2021,” Hamby said.
The Gustaf comes with a multitude of rounds for busting bunkers or taking out armor.
And recently, Raytheon has partnered with Saab to build a laser-guided precision strike Gustaf round.
The new round will have a range of nearly 2,000 meters and be capable of taking out bunkers, concrete, light skinned vehicles and armored personnel carriers, according to Raytheon.
This is an excerpt from “19 Things You Need to Know in 2019,” in the 12-31 print edition of Marine Corps Times.
Shawn Snow is the senior reporter for Marine Corps Times and a Marine Corps veteran.