Battlefield fires are getting more deadly, for sure
Raytheon and Saab recently announced that the guided munition for the venerable Carl Gustav 84mm recoilless rifle has gone 11 for 11 in tests. This is big news as the 84, which has been around since the 1940s in one form or another, is super popular but is a “dumb” rocket, much like the bazookas of its birth era. A guided round is a serious game-changer. The new semi-active, laser-guided munition will allow users to accurately engage stationary or moving targets at distances up to 1.2 miles (2,000 meters).
“Raytheon and Saab have spent the last 12 months working together to develop a precision-guided munition that will penetrate multiple targets, such as light armor, bunkers, and concrete structures, at extended ranges,” said Sam Deneke, Raytheon Land Warfare Systems vice president. “This lightweight round can overmatch potential adversaries while decreasing collateral damage, making it an ideal weapon when fighting under restricted rules of engagement.”
My favorite, albeit fictional use, of the CG84 is in the otherwise forgettable action film Men of War where Swedish muscle-man/nerd Dolph Lundgren gets all reverse Ikea with one.
Going long with the 155
Meanwhile, in South Africa, the folks at Denel, using a G6-52 self-propelled 155mm and a German PZH2000 mounted gun, used a new Rheinmetall-Denel Munition (RDM) to reach targets at an average range of 76.2km, reportedly “exceeding expectations” in both accuracy and range. Dubbed the Rhino in service, the G6 was first fielded in the 1980s after input from the somewhat infamous Gerald Bull, shelling insurgent positions far across the border in Angola and previously had “only” been stretched out to 73km using special M9703A1 V-LAP rounds, which is still a record of sorts for production artillery pieces in that caliber.
“The artillery produced by Denel Land Systems is still considered to be the yardstick against which all other long-range systems are measured,” says du Toit. “With the latest tests we have raised the bar even further and I have no doubt that defense forces and potential customers will take note of our achievements.”