Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

A History of the M72 LAW and Current Improvement Programs

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "A History of the M72 LAW and Current Improvement Programs"— Presentation transcript:

1 A History of the M72 LAW and Current Improvement Programs
Nicholas Duke 39th Annual Gun & Ammunition/Missiles and Rockets Conference April 13-16, 2004

2 Thoughts on M72 Why is M72 so widely deployed?
How has M72 maintained relevance for 40 years? Who can learn from the M72 technology strategy? What is the future vision for M72? 1

3 What is the LAW? Firepower for the individual warfighter
Light close-combat lethality for mobile Soldiers Disposable rugged round of ammunition Minimal training needed to effectively employ Highly proliferable and low cost This concept has adapted to world changes New threats have been addressed Modern tactics have been embraced Emerging technologies have been exploited Light weight, compact size have been maintained 2

4 (Under Development in US) (Under Development in Norway)
What is the LAW? Improved M72A4, A5, A6/A7 (Current Production) Next Generation M72E10-AP (Under Development in US) Next Generation M72E9-DP 3 (Under Development in Norway)

5 Fielded in Afghanistan and Iraq
Who has fielded the LAW? US Army Norway SOF USMC More than 20 other allied nations 4 Fielded in Afghanistan and Iraq

6 Why such wide deployment?
M72 is not specialized for a single mission Useful in a wide variety of combat scenarios Enough armor penetration to defeat most threat AFVs Enough explosive to be effective versus material targets Enough range to provide effective standoff Mobile enough to carry for contingencies Carry weight and length don’t preclude other equipment Multiple rounds can be carried by a single gunner Ease of use allows for quick reaction M72 program is multi-national Partnership between US and Norway Talley, NAMMO, & NI cooperate to consider many potential user viewpoints 5

7 Mobility is Critical Carry weight is the major determinant
Soldiers are overloaded Specialized equipment exists for every task A multi-function contingency weapon must be light M72/A2 6 lb 26 in M72A3/A7 8 lb 30.5 in M72E8 9.5 lb M72E9/E10 8/9 lb AT4 15 lb 39.3 in AT4CS 17 lb 41 in SMAW-D 16 lb 32 in Bunkerfaust 28 lb 48 in RGW60 13 lb 34.6 in 6

8 How has it stayed relevant?
M72 has a responsive technology strategy Internal user demands (concerns, tactics changes) Generate M72 specific technology development External technology maturation (advancements) Generates opportunities for M72 specific improvements Internal acquisition reforms (requirements) Require integration of non M72 specific technologies Changes in external combat environment (threats) Suggest integration of unforeseen capabilities and adaptation to new missions 7

9 Technology Determinants
Internal Environment Suggest External Environment Integrative Mechanics Generative Mechanics M72 Weapon System Survivability Concerns Modern Tactics Insensitive Munitions Night Vision Devices Fuze Safety Advanced Warheads Composite Materials Emerging Threats Asymmetric Warfare 8

10 Evolutionary Overview
1960 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 2015 The Original LAW: Light, rugged, cost-effective Reliability Upgrades M72A1 M72 M72A2 M72A3 Safety Upgrades US/Norwegian Consortium 350mm RHA 300mm RHA 150mm RHA The Improved LAW: Longer range and easier to operate M72A4 M72A5 M72A6 M72A7 150mm RHA IM The Next-Generation LAW: More lethal and survivable 150mm RHA IM 450mm RHA IM Anti-Personnel IM US unfunded requirement M72E8 M72E9 M72E10 Norway funded program US funded program 9

11 Technology Evolutions
M72 to M72A1 & A2 Reliability upgrades developed to address User needs, improve manufacturing processes M72A2 to M72A3 Safety upgrades integrated to respond to acquisition changes, production shift to Norway M72A3 to M72A4, A5, A6 Gunner interfaces, lethality, and range upgraded for changing User needs A6 warhead integrated for new SOF mission M72A6 to A7 IM sensitivity upgrades integrated to address regulatory changes and increase safety 10

12 Who can learn from M72? Many DoD programs can learn something
Modern pace of technology and threat changes, coupled with tight budgets, demand it Lessons learned are: Evolutionary path ensures program longevity Flexibility critical to meet needs, even change missions Map and track the programs technology drivers Identify emerging needs & develop matching technology Anticipate emerging threats and integrate counters International partnerships foster improvement Alternative viewpoints considered Larger User base ensures unbroken series of steps 11

13 Future Vision For the M72 Fire From Enclosure (FFE) propulsion (M72E8)
Technology generated so M72 can rule MOUT combat Deep Penetrator (DP) warhead (M72E9) Technology integrated to improve M72 vs threat armor Anti-Personnel (AP) warhead (M72E10) Technology generated to evolve M72 to a new mission On-axis trigger firing mechanism (All) Technology generated in response to User request Dual-safe fuze (All) Technology integrated to improve safety for soldiers and in storage and transportation 12

14 Interior wall after 3 firings at 5 meters and 1 firing at 3 meters
M72E8-FFE Adds Fire From Enclosure (FFE) propulsion Low noise, low signature, greater range Maintains A7 multipurpose target lethality Improves launcher human factors Incorporates dual-safe fuze Mitigates IM sensitivities Interior wall after 3 firings at 5 meters and 1 firing at 3 meters 13

15 M72E8-FFE Firing

16 NVD/Reflex Integral Sight Rails
M72E9-DP Adds Deep Penetrator (DP) warhead >450mm RHA with enhanced behind armor effects Incorporates dual-safe fuze Improves launcher human factors On-Axis Trigger Fold Forward Sights Out-of-line Primer NVD/Reflex Integral Sight Rails 14

17 M72E10-AP Adds Anti-Personnel (AP) warhead Anti-Personnel warhead
Blast/fragmentation warhead Incorporates dual-mode target discriminating fuze Improves launcher human factors Maintains weight < 9.5 lb with rocket motor Anti-Personnel warhead Detonates on contact with armor and concrete Large breachs and significant spall Penetrates brick, block, and earth & timber Devastating lethality behind cover 15

18 M72E10 vs Brick Structure 16

19 Summary Benefits of an effective technology strategy
Increased versatility to the warfighter Reduced cost and schedule for PIPs Increased program longevity Builds on existing training infrastructure M72 LAW program provides example System adapts to new threats and requirements Improvements underway for all subsystems Modular design and multiple Users keep cost low Fielding times < 3 years 40+ year program life to date 17

Download ppt "A History of the M72 LAW and Current Improvement Programs"

Similar presentations

Ads by Google