In pursuit of enhancing its air defence and anti-tank capabilities, India has signed a contract with Swedish defence major Saab AB for its AT4 anti-tank single-shot weapon system through a competitive program. India has been using Saab’s Carl Gustav since the early 1970s which could an influencing reason for the AT4 deal. Also, AT4 is lighter with less backfire explosion compared to Carl Gustav which makes it usable in confined spaces like bunkers and buildings. Additionally, AT4 requires only one person to operate while Carl Gustav needs two persons, finds GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Gone Sai Kiran, Defence Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Modernisation of defence equipment is the key to stay competitive in the modern war environment and if India decides to replace its existing Carl Gustav with AT4 in coming years, this will be a large program from the Indian Ministry of Defence. Besides, if Saab agrees to manufacture AT4 in India, this contract for AT4 support weapon is expected to provide benefits to the domestic defence market.”

The Ordnance Factory Board of India, which has been a partner for Carl Gustav weapon and associated ammunition production in India since 1976, is expected to benefit from this contract if everything goes right for the domestic production of this weapon.

Sai Kiran concludes: “India’s focus on enhancing its air defence and anti-tank capabilities will continue, as seen with the current deal of AT4 and the recent test of India’s BrahMos missile with greater domestic content. India will also aim to export this and other services and technologies to its allies while increasing domestic knowledge and capabilities.

“However, there is still some way before India matures these technologies to make them attractive to foreign buyers. In the meantime, GlobalData expects India to be an attractive market for international companies willing to invest into the country and grow their capabilities using all the resources available in a growing market like India.”

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