Saab Bofors Dynamics AT4

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M136 AT4 Anti-Tank recoilless launcher - 84mm
M136 AT4 Anti-Tank recoilless launcher with fitted with night sight mounting bracket and AN/PVS-4 night-vision scope - 84mm
Pansarskott m/86, Swedish Army version of the AT4 with folding foregrip - 84mm

Not to be confused with the AT-4 Spigot

The Saab Bofors Dynamics AT4 is a Swedish-made single-shot 84mm unguided light anti-tank recoilless launcher system, effectively a single-shot Carl Gustav Recoilless Rifle: in spite of what its own US Army field manual claims (due to copy-pasting large blocks of text from the manual for the M72 LAW), it is not a rocket launcher, as the round does not have an integral motor. It was originally developed by Förenade Fabriksverken (FFV): FFV Ordnance was later merged with Bofors AB as part of the Celsius Group, which was bought up by Saab AB in 1999: while Saab would later sell the heavy weapons division of Bofors to United Defense, Saab retained its missile and rocket division.

It was developed as a replacement for the obsolete 74mm Pansarskott m/68, with the first test firings in 1981, and quickly became involved in the US Army's emergency purchase program aimed at replacing the M72 LAW after the failure of the FGR-17 Viper in 1983. Testing showed the AT4 to be the most effective among the tested weapon systems, with a report in 1983 recommending its adoption: it was confirmed as the winner in 1984 and full-rate production of a variant with some recommended modifications began in 1985. It was adopted by the US Army and US Marine Corps as the Lightweight Multipurpose Weapon M136 AT4: the designation "AT4" is a pun on both the weapon's caliber and its year of adoption. The system first saw combat during the US invasion of Panama in 1989. The M136 variant is used with pop-up iron sights by default, fixed front and adjustable rear with two apertures and a range scale indicator underneath. By using the night sight mounting bracket (NSN 5340-01-391-3004), the launcher can be fitted with an AN/PAQ-4C IR laser or AN/PEQ-2 visible laser module, AN/PAS-13 thermal sight or AN/PVS-4 night vision scope, among others.

The Swedish adopted the weapon in 1986 as the Pansarskott m/86, incorporating the required improvements from the M136 spec while adding a folding foregrip (instead of using the front end of the shoulder strap as a front grip as on the M136). These components are also present on the AT4 variants offered to other customers. Several experimental variants were produced, in particular the AT12, a super-powerful 120mm variant with a tandem-charge anti-tank warhead designed to defeat the latest Soviet reactive armor, which was cancelled in the defense budget cuts following the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the bunker-busting AT8 (which used the HEDP warhead from the Mk 153 SMAW) which was entered into the US Army's Bunker Defeat Munition program in the late 90s but lost to McDonnell-Douglas' M141 SMAW-D.

In the early 2000s Saab Bofors Dynamics produced a new variant, the AT4CS (confined space), which uses a saltwater countermass along with a redesigned propelling charge to reduce the weapon's backblast and allow safer firing from enclosed spaces. This variant was selected in the USSOCOM Advanced Demolition Weapon project in 2003 and was ordered by the US Army in 2004: the Army later suspended all orders of the baseline M136 AT4 in favor of issuing AT4CS variants. A version with a dual-purpose warhead, the HEDP 502, was also produced at some point, though this does not appear to be in production anymore.

As of 2019 there are six main variants offered, with exports to over 15 countries: the basic AT4 HEAT system (the modern production version of which has an integrated, factory-boresighted red dot sight, and a folding front grip) and five confined space variants. These are the AT4CS RS (reduced sensitivity, using insensitive explosives in the warhead), AT4CS HP (high penetration, using an anti-tank warhead with a standoff rod), AT4CS ER (extended range, with an improved propellant and integral sight), AT4CS HE (high explosive, with an antipersonnel warhead and integral red dot sight) and AT4CS AST (anti-structure tandem, a wall-breaching variant with an integral red dot sight). All variants have the same control placements to simplify manual of arms: firing requires pulling a pin from the rear of the striker assembly which is retained by a lanyard wrapped around the tube, unfolding the shoulder stop, opening the sight protectors and adjusting the sights, cocking the striker by pushing the small cocking handle forward and down and then releasing it, and then pressing the trigger on the right side of the weapon while holding the safety paddle down. Pictorial instructions are present on the body of the launcher.

As with many single-shot launchers, an expended launch tube has the same legal status as an empty cartridge case in many jurisdictions, and so movie AT4s that are not complete prop fabrications are more or less certain to be expended tubes. A sure sign of this is any irregularities in the rear seal or muzzle cover, both of which are blown out during firing, or the safety pin and / or its lanyard being missing.

Contents

Specifications

(1984 - present (baseline M136 AT4 no longer procured as of ~2010))

  • Type: Recoilless Gun
  • Caliber: 84mm
  • Weight: 14.8 lbs (6.7 kg) (M136 AT4, AT4CS AST), ~15.4 lbs (7 kg) (AT4 HEAT, current production), ~17.6 lbs (8 kg) (AT4CS HP, AT4CS RS), ~19.8 lbs (9 kg) (AT4CS ER, AT4CS HE)
  • Length: 40.2 in (102 cm) (M136 AT4), "less than 39.4 in (100 cm)" (all modern variants)

The Saab Bofors Dynamics AT4 and variants can be seen in the following films, television series, video games, and anime used by the following actors:

Film

Title Actor Character Note Date
RoboCop 2 Thomas Rosales Jr. Chet 1990
Beyond the Law 1992
The Democratic Terrorist terrorists Pansarskott m/86 1992
The Democratic Terrorist Stellan Skarsgård Carl Hamilton Pansarskott m/86 1992
In the Army Now Pauly Shore Private/PFC Bones Conway 1994
Escape from L.A. George Corraface Cuervo Jones 1996
Money Talks Michael Wright Aaron Incorrectly shown as reloadable 1997
Dead or Alive (Hanzaisha) Shô Aikawa Detective Jojima 1999
K-911 Scotch Ellis Loring Phil Cage 1999
Python Soldiers 2000
Rules of Engagement U.S. Marines slung on shoulder 2000
Delta Farce Larry the Cable Guy Corporal Larry McCoy 2007
Delta Farce D.J. Qualls Spec. Everett Shackleford 2007
Jarhead U.S. Marines 2005
Home of the Brave U.S. Army Soldier 2006
Cloverfield U.S. Army Soldiers 2008
Terminator Salvation Christian Bale John Connor 2009
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra Special Forces soldier 2009
The Hurt Locker US Army soldier 2009
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen NEST soldiers With Hollywood embellishments and AN/PVS-4 night-vision scopes 2009
Legion Paul Bettany Michael 2010
From Paris with Love John Travolta Charlie Wax 2010
The Losers Zoe Saldana Aisha al-Fadhil 2010
Battle: Los Angeles Michelle Rodriguez TSgt Elena Santos Incorrectly shown as a guided weapon 2011
Memorial Day US Army soldiers 2011
Super Rainn Wilson Frank handed over 2011
Transformers: Dark of the Moon Lester Speight Eddie With Hollywood embellishments and AN/PVS-4 night-vision scopes 2011
Black & White Episode 1: The Dawn of Assault Major 2012
I Declare War Alex Cardillo Frost 2012
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Gary Oldman Dreyfus 2014
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back Tom Cruise Jack Reacher 2016
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk U.S. Army soldier 2016
Mission: Impossible - Fallout White Widow's operatives 2018

Television

Title Actor Character Note / Episode Date
Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman . "Operation Blackout", Mounted on robot 1993 - 1997
RoboCop: The Series Various Characters Visually Modified 1994 - 1995
The X-Files - Season 4 FBI tactical agent Carried out of militia compound / "Unrequited" (S4E16) 1997
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Sarah Michelle Gellar Buffy Summers "Innocence" 1997 - 2003
Stargate: SG1 . . Inaccurately shown as anti-aircraft weapon 1997 - 2007
The X-Files - Season 5 U.S. soldier Shown in archived media footage / "Redux" (S5E01) 1997
Stargate: Atlantis Kavan Smith Major Lorne Inaccurately shown as anti-aircraft weapon 2004 - 2009
Guns . . Part of a weapons shipment 2008
My Name is Earl sumo guy 2007
Ultimate Weapons soldiers AT4 and AT4 CS (Confined Space) 2010
Revolution Billy Burke Miles Matheson 2013
Revolution Graham Rogers Danny Matheson 2013
Falling Skies Sarah Carter Maggie "At All Costs" (S3E04) 2013

Video Games

Game Title Appears as Mods Notation Release Date
S.W.A.T. 3: Close Quarters Battle Mounted on a tripod with a computer system and timer Incorrectly shown as anti-aircraft weapon 1999
Delta Force: Land Warrior 2000
Ghost Recon M136 Incorrectly shown as reloadable 2001
Delta Force: Task Force Dagger 2002
America's Army 2002
Delta Force: Black Hawk Down 2003
Postal 2 Rocket Launcher, Mini-Nuke Launcher 2003
Half-Life 2 RPG heavily modified Incorrectly shown as reloadable 2004
Söldner: Secret Wars 2004
Resident Evil: Outbreak: File 2 Rocket Launcher 2004
Project Reality 2005
Shadow the Hedgehog 2005
Time Crisis IV Pansarskott m/86, incorrectly shown as reloadable 2006
World in Conflict Cutscenes only 2007
ArmA: Armed Assault 2007
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Only accessible through cheats 2007
Battlefield: Bad Company 2008
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 AT4-HS Heat-Seeking Anti-Aircraft capability, incorrectly shown as reloadable 2009
Prototype Rocket Launcher Pansarskott m/86, incorrectly scaled and shown as a guided missile launcher 2009
Counter-Strike Online AT Lance With AN/PVS-4 night-vision scope, 1x 2010
Just Cause 2 Rocket Launcher Pansarskott m/86 2010
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 With laser guidance system 2010
Delta Force: Xtreme 2 AT4 2010
Medal of Honor AT4 multiplayer only 2010
Battlefield 3 Pansarskott m/86 2011
Battle: Los Angeles Pansarskott m/86, incorrectly shown as reloadable 2011
Battlefield Play4Free Promotional material only, non-playable 2011
War Inc. Battlezone w/ various attachments 2011
Arctic Combat 2012
Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 2013
Battlefield 4 M136 CS 2013
Insurgency AT4 2014
Time Crisis 5 Pansarskott m/86, incorrectly shown as reloadable 2014

Anime

Film/Television Title Character Notation Date
Violence Jack: Harem Bomber Slum King's bodyguard 1986
Kochikame Kankichi Ryotsu Early model with pistol grip 1998
Kochikame Volvo Saigo 1998
Blood+ U.S. soldier 2005
Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid Melissa Mao 2005
Puella Magi Madoka Magica Homura Akemi 2011
Angel Beats! Matsushita 2010
Bayonetta: Bloody Fate Bayonetta customised 2013



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