AT-4 is really effective against the Russian armour
The advent of armored vehicles, especially the tank, changed warfare forever. However, like the trials and tribulations of predator versus prey in the animal kingdom, methods were developed to crack open even the most robust of these vehicles.
During WW2, for example, the famous Panzerfaust, a shaped-charge rocket-propelled grenade, was developed to give infantry units at least a fighting chance against an enemy armored column. Fast forward to the 1980s, and the Swedes would unveil one of the great anti-armor RPGs of all time, the Saab Bofors Dynamics AT4.
The AT4 is a shoulder-fired, recoilless, unguided 3.31-inch (84 mm) anti-tank weapon made in Sweden by Saab Bofors Dynamics. Unlike rocket launchers, the AT4's explosive warhead is not propelled by a rocket motor, and unlike recoilless rifles, the AT4's launcher is smoothbore rather than rifled.
The US Army uses a variant known as the M136 AT4. The launcher and projectile are produced and distributed as a single round of ammunition.
Because of its high accuracy and penetrative power can be used against a wide range of targets, including buildings and fortifications, tanks, and other armored vehicles. Militaries widely use the AT4 globally due to its reputation as a potent anti-armor weapon. It's cheap, straightforward, and simple to keep up with.
However, its effectiveness against the latest main battle tank would depend on factors such as the thickness and angle of the tank's armor and the range and penetration capabilities of the AT4. The AT4 is typically used by infantry troops as a lightweight, man-portable weapon, and is not considered a primary anti-tank weapon in most militaries.
Sales of the AT4 have been very good for Saab, and the weapon is now one of the most widely used light anti-tank weapons in the world. To this end, it has found a home in many armed forces worldwide, including, most notably, the Ukrainian Army as of 2022.
Not only is it an incredible weapon, but it also shows the Swede's sense of humor with the weapon's name being a play on words from its 84 mm caliber, "A-T-4." But, it is also a smart choice as the abbreviation "AT" is commonly used as a military abbreviation for "anti-tank."
The M136/AT4 is a lightweight, portable anti-armor weapon that fires a rocket-type cartridge with stabilizing fins and is housed in a single-use, fiberglass-encased tube. For convenience in transporting and storing, the launcher is also waterproof.
It can be used in low light, but the shooter still needs a clear view of the target to determine how far away it is. The weapon also comes with a night sight bracket for nighttime use.
The system only requires basic training and weighs 15 pounds (6.8 kg).
The warhead of the M136 AT4 is capable of devastating after-armor effects and has exceptional penetrative power. The massively destructive 440-gram-shaped charge explosive can smash through armor more than 14 inches (35.6 cm) thick.
However, it does have its downsides too.
The AT4 has a large back blast area behind the weapon, which poses a danger to friendly personnel nearby and even the user in confined spaces due to the risk of severe burns and overpressure injuries. The back blast could expose the user's position.
The AT4-CS (Confined Space), optimized for use in urban environments, eliminates the danger of back blasts.
Not only is the weapon a legend on the battlefield, but it has also been featured in various films and TV series, including the “Terminator” franchise and, randomly, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”
Don’t believe us? Then you now have a good excuse to watch this classic 90s series.