Nammo to start full-rate production of M72 Light Assault Weapon variants for US Army

According to information published by the United States Department of Defense (DoD) on December 20, 2021, Nammo Defense Systems Inc., Mesa, Arizona, was awarded a $498,092,926 firm-fixed-price contract for the full-rate production of M72 Light Assault Weapon variants and components for shoulder-launched munitions training systems.
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A U.S. Army Special Forces member fires an M72 Light Anti-Armor Weapon during heavy weapons training on Eglin Range, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. (Picture source U.S. DoD)

The M72 also named LAW (Light Anti-Tank Weapon) is a portable one-shot 66-mm unguided anti-tank weapon also called shoulder fired system, designed and manufactured by the Norwegian company Nammo. The purpose of shoulder-launched munitions is to provide the Soldier with a lightweight, disposable, man-portable, self-contained, one-shot system that is highly effective in incapacitating personnel located within protective barriers, such as buildings, fighting positions (earth and timber bunkers), light-armored vehicles, and other field fortifications.

The solid rocket propulsion unit of the M72 LAW was developed in 1959 and in 1963, the M72 LAW was adopted by the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps as their primary individual infantry anti-tank weapon. Currently, it is produced by Nammo Raufoss AS in Norway and their subsidiary Nammo Talley, Inc. in Arizona.

With more than a million systems delivered, the M72 represents one of the most successful shoulder fired systems ever developed. The M72 has been sold to 20 countries in the world.

The M72 LAW consists of an unguided free-flight rocket and a launcher that contains all features and controls necessary to aim, fire, and engage targets. The launcher has a design similar to the recoilless rifle. It is man-portable and provides water-resistant protection for the rocket during storage, transportation, and use.

The Norwegian company NAMMO continued the development of a new improved version, including the M72 fire-from-enclosure (FFE) solution, ensuring troops are safe and avoid injury when the M72 is fired from rooms, bunkers, or enclosures.

Nammo’s production of the FFE variants – known as the M72 Anti-Armor (A8) and M72 Anti-Structure Munition (A10) in U.S. military service will be fielded with U.S. Army in 2022. This newest variant continues the heritage of a battlefield legend, meaning the M72 will be in service for many years to come.

Defense News December 2021