AT4

The AT-4 (also AT4) is an 84-mm unguided, portable, single-shot recoilless smoothbore weapon built in Sweden by Saab Bofors Dynamics (previously Bofors Anti-Armour Systems). Saab has had considerable sales success with the AT4, making it one of the most common light anti-tank weapons in the world.

The designation "CS" represents "confined space", referring to the propellant charge being designed to operate effectively within buildings in an urban environment. It is intended to give infantry units a means to destroy or disable armoured vehicles and fortifications, although it is not generally sufficient to defeat a modern main battle tank (MBT). The launcher and projectile are manufactured prepacked and issued as a single unit of ammunition, with the launcher discarded after a single use.

AT4
Class Manportable
Type Rocket Launcher
Manufacturer Saab Group
Origin Sweden
Country Name Origin Year
Sweden 1987
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Argentina View
Brazil View
Chile View
Croatia View
Denmark View
Estonia View
France View
Georgia View
Greece View
Indonesia View
Iraq View
Ireland View
Latvia View
Lebanon View
Lithuania View
Malaysia View
Netherlands View
Philippines View
Poland View
Sweden 1987 View
United Kingdom - UK (Great Britain) View
United States of America View
Venezuela View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Saab Group 600000 View

The AT4 is a development of the 74-mm Pansarskott m/68[8] (Miniman), adopted by the Swedish Army in the late 1960s. Like the m/68, the AT4 was designed by Försvarets Fabriksverk (FFV) and manufactured at their facility at Zakrisdal, Karlstad, Sweden. FFV began research in a replacement for the m/68 in 1976, deliberately designing an individual anti-armor weapon that would not be able to defeat the heavy armour protection of MBTs (main battle tanks) in frontal engagements, believing that to be counterproductive. The AT4 was designed as a weapon to engage medium to light armoured vehicles from any direction, MBTs from the sides or rear, and as an assault weapon against buildings and fortifications. FFV also had the design goal of a weapon that was simple to use, rugged, and far more accurate than previous individual antiarmor weapons against moving targets. Another key requirement was that the AT4 not only be able to penetrate armour, but also have a devastating beyond-armour effect after penetration. FFV and the Swedish Army began the first evaluation firings of the prototype AT4s in the spring of 1981 with 100 tested by early 1982.

Even before the AT4 had been adopted by Sweden, it was entered into a US Army competition for a new anti-tank weapon mandated by Congress in 1982 when the FGR-17 Viper failed as a replacement for the M72 LAW. Six weapons were tested in 1983 by the US Army: the British LAW 80, the German Armbrust, the French APILAS, the Norwegian M72E4 (an upgraded M72 LAW), the US Viper (for baseline comparison purposes) and the Swedish AT4. The US Army reported to Congress in November 1983 that the FFV AT4 came the closest to meeting all the major requirements established to replace the M72 LAW, with the Armbrust coming in second.

Though very impressed with the simplicity and durability of the tested version of the AT4, the US Army saw some room for improvement, specifically the addition of rear and front bumpers on the launch tube and changes to the sights and slings. After these changes, the AT4 was adopted by the US Army as the Lightweight Multipurpose Weapon M136. The Swedish Army also recognized these improvements and subsequently adopted the Americanized version of the AT4 as the Pansarskott m/86 (Pskott m/86), with the addition of a forward folding hand grip to help steady the AT4 when being aimed and fired. The forward folding grip is the only difference between the AT4 adopted by Sweden and the US Army version.

Due to the urban combat conditions that US military forces have been facing regularly in the last several years, the US Army Close Combat Systems manager in charge of purchases of the AT4 suspended orders for the standard version of the AT4 and US military forces are now only ordering the AT4 CS version.

Type Anti-tank weapon
Place of origin Sweden
Service history
In service 1987–present
Used by See Operators below
Wars US invasion of Panama
Afghanistan War
Iraq War
French intervention in Mali
Production history
Manufacturer Saab Bofors Dynamics
Unit cost US$1,480.64
Number built 600,000+
Variants AT-4 CS
Specifications
Weight 6.7 kg (14.8 lb)
Length 102 cm (40 in)
Muzzle velocity 290 m/s (950 ft/s)
Effective firing range 300 m (point target)
Maximum firing range 500 m (area target)
2,100 m (maximum)
Sights Iron sights, optional night vision unit
Filling Octol
Filling weight 440 g HEAT (High Explosive Anti-Tank round)

Specifications

  • Length: 101.6 cm (40 in.)
  • Weight: 6.7 kg (14.77 pounds)
  • Bore diameter: 84 mm
  • Maximum effective range: 300 metres (328 yards), although it has been used in excess of 500 meters (547 yards) for area fire.
  • Penetration: 400 mm (15.7 inches) of rolled homogeneous armour (RHA; also see below)
  • Time of flight (to 250 metres, or 273 yards): less than 1 second
  • Muzzle velocity: 285 metres (950 ft) per second
  • Operating temperature: -40 to +60 °C (-40 to +140 °F)
  • Ammunition: fin-stabilized projectile with HEAT warhead

End notes