Swedish defence major Saab on Tuesday announced it is in talks with the Indian government to set up a manufacturing facility for its latest variant of the shoulder-fired Carl-Gustaf M4 weapon system.

Saab, which has been here for over four and half decades, is already manufacturing the Carl-Gustaf M3 here through an arrangement with a defence PSU. The launchers have been deployed with the Army formations close to LAC in eastern and western sectors.

The Swedish firm plans to start production by 2024 through 74 percent to 100 percent FDI into the defence sector to promote Make in India, said Gorgen Johansson, Saab's business area dynamics, at a press briefing.

The company would also export the M4s produced in India. The finished products would be transported back to the Saab's parent company in Sweden before being sent to other customers, Johansson stated.

However, the products would not be sold to India’s adversary like Pakistan since Sweden’s export rules are very strict.

Johansson said he was hopeful of getting the government nod for the production. It would be Saab's first manufacturing facility outside Sweden for the Carl-Gustaf M4. "It's a natural step to set up a production facility for Carl-Gustaf M4 in India given the long and close association we have with the Indian Army as one of the foremost users of the system," he said.

Johansson, however, was non committal on the volume of investment. "I can't give you numbers," he said.

A new company Saab FFV India Pvt Ltd, currently under registration, would manufacture the M4 weapon systems, which is 30 percent lighter in comparison to the older version, and has new sights and intelligence. Ammunition will continue to be imported from Swedish plants, he clarified.

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