The U.S. Army and Saab‘s Bofors Dynamics business unit have collaborated to test and qualify an updated shoulder-fired weapon system.
The service branch said Thursday Army engineers tested the M3E1 multi-role anti-armor anti-personnel weapon system, which a version of the M3 recoilless rifle that is shorter and six pounds lighter.
William Everett, Army Foreign Comparative Testing Program project manager, said the branch’s M3E1 team traveled to Sweden to observe and validate the manufacturer’s tests rather than duplicate the process in the U.S.
Renee Bober, M3E1 product manager, said the updates include a shot counter and modern materials that will work to address user input from the U.S. Special Operations Command and other services.
The shot counter is designed to address the need to half-life an M3, which occurs when a service member does not manually record each round fired as required by the current system, according to the Army.
M3E1 will be available for acquisition to all Defense Department services when tests and qualifications are completed in 2017, the Army noted.
The weapon system works to engage light armored vehicles, bunkers and soft structures.