The US Marine Corps Systems Command worked with the US Army last month to release a request for proposals for the M72 light assault weapon fire from enclosure munition.
The M72 LAW FFE is a next-generation, shoulder-fired rocket system that will increase lethality and safety for marines. The compact, single-shot weapon system incorporates an improved launcher, featuring an enhanced in-line trigger mechanism and improved sling design.
“It is a shoulder-fired rocket that you can fire from inside an enclosure, room or bunker,” said Richard Dooley, a project officer for maneuver ammunition and missile programs with MCSC’s PM Ammo.
Managed by PM Ammo, the FFE technology is an upgraded version of the legacy M72 LAW system. The newer system enables marines to fire several shots per day from inside a room—a capability the legacy system lacked. When firing at night, the flash from the M72 FFE’s muzzle and back blast is less than that of an M9 pistol.
The ability to fire from an enclosed position combined with reduced noise and flash allows marines to maintain a covered and concealed position, reducing the enemies’ ability to identify the point of origin.
“The new LAW FFE is a true fire-from-an-enclosure capability unlike anything the Marine Corps has ever seen,” said Warren Clare, the program manager for Ammunition at MCSC. “It will become a force multiplier.”
The system comprises two configurations: the M72A8 anti-armor and the M72A10 multi-purpose, anti-structure munition. The anti-armor warhead improves armor penetration while the multi-purpose warhead gives marines the added capability of an anti-structure round capable of eliminating hardened structures, such as buildings.
“The M72A10 incorporates an advanced warhead design with a multipurpose explosive and a self-discriminating fuse that operates in either fast- or delay-mode based on target construction,” said Dooley.
The system supports the Marine Corps’ ongoing mission to lighten the warfighter’s load and increase lethality. The M72 FFE and the legacy system are the lightest shoulder-fired rocket systems the Marine Corps fields.
PM Ammo expects to field the M72 FFE in fiscal year 2022.