Saab has received an order worth over US$180 million (MSEK 1155) for anti-armor projectiles for the Carl-Gustaf man-portable weapon system. The company will begin delivery of the first ammunition batches in September 2011 and continue supplies throughout 2012. The contract also includes an option that can give further orders for up to approximately $78 (MSEK 500), with deliveries in 2013. Saab Dynamics plans to add 40 jobs in its production plant at Karlskoga, Sweden to meet the tight delivery schedule.
Saab has not disclosed the identity of customer, but two countries likely to be capable of placing such substantial orders while remaining illusive are the UAE and Saudi-Arabia. Both have substantial inventory of Carl Gustaf M3, justifying large scale ammunition procurement.
The Carl-Gustaf weapon system currently offered as the M3 multi-role weapon has a long and successful history. The weapon was first developed in 1947 and introduced into Swedish service in 1948. It is in use in more than 40 countries, on every continent. Today it still proves itself to be a highly modern and capable ground support weapon. The system has successively been modernized and adapted offering load weight reduction, add-on aiming devices, advanced ammunition types to meet new requirements introducing.
Swedish arms sales in the Middle East spurred in recent years, with the recent instability in the region raising more opportunities, as was evident in the recent IDEX arms expo in Dubai. However, the Swedish Government has recently halted the deliveries of weapons to two Middle Eastern and North African countries due to the civil unrest at the region. Andreas Ekman Duse, the head of the Swedish Agency for Non-Proliferation and Export Controls announced this week.
Sweden is the 11th largest arms exporter, according to figures for 2009 compiled by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Swedish arms exports rose one percent in 2010 one percent to $2.15 billion (13.7 billion MSEK). The majority of sales (70 percent) accounted for the European Union, the United States and South Africa, with the exports to the UAE total $125 million (804 MESK) and $38 (246 MESK) to Saudi Arabia.