France Orders More AT4-CS Infantry Rockets
Sweden’s Saab Bofors Dynamics recently announced a SEK 150 million ($18.6M/ EUR 14M) order for its AT4-CS infantry rockets. This is France’s 4th order for the unguided system, following purchases in 1996, 2000, and 2003. The AT4-CS fills a niche as a lighter alternative to Giat/Nexter’s 112mm APILAS, which has some disadvantages that hamper its use.
The 84mm AT4 will not defeat modern tanks, but it will destroy light vehicles and some medium armor. It’s also extremely useful against fortified enemy positions. That’s currently its most common use, hence Saab’s designation as an “Anti-Structure Weapon.” In the US Army and USMC, a modified version is known as the M136, which has been license-manufactured by ATK, and also bought via direct order. The AT4-CS is now the standard version sold around the world, and the CS means “confined space,” thanks to the clever use of a saltwater mass in the back. As the firing pin hits the ammunition and the normally large and dangerous backblast begins, it turns the counter-mass into spray, baffling and slowing the pressure wave to make it safe for use in confined spaces like buildings.