- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 5, 2020

An anti-tank rocket first used by American troops fighting in the jungles of Vietnam is slated to get a second life with upgrades expected to make it more lethal yet safer for the U.S. service members squeezing the trigger.

The M72 Light Anti-tank Weapon, adopted by the military in 1963, has been improved to avoid a dangerous backlast that could cause damage up to 15 meters to the rear.

“It is a shoulder-fired rocket that you can fire from inside an enclosure, room or bunker,” said Richard Dooley, a project officer for Marine Corps Systems Command.

It will give U.S. troops the ability to fire several shots a day from inside a room - unlike the original M72 LAW. There will be much less chance of being spotted because the new version has a muzzle flash less than that of a sidearm pistol, officials said.

“It will become a force multiplier,” said Warren Clare, program manager for ammunition at Marines Corps Systems Command.

Soldiers and Marines will be able to attack a range of targets, from buildings to bunkers to and even enemy tanks by using the anti-armor munitions. The light weight of the system means troops will be able to increase the amount of shoulder-fired weapons during an operation, officials said.

“Advancements made to the M72 FFE rounds make it one of the most lethal, dependable and flexible munitions available in the world today,” said Mr. Dooley.

The new rocket systgem is expected to be fielded in fiscal year 2022, officials said.

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