AUGUST 4, 2020 – Marine Corps Systems Command is looking to field a next-generation, shoulder-fired rocket system that will increase lethality and safety for Marines.
With guidance from MCSC’s Program Manager for Ammunition, the Army in July released a Request for Proposals for the M72 Light Assault Weapon Fire from Enclosure munition. The Army is procuring the system on behalf of MCSC, fulfilling a requirement for the Corps.
The M72 LAW FFE is a compact, lightweight, single-shot weapon system. It 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.”
‘Lethal, dependable, flexible’
The M72 FFE 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.
“These advancements enable Marines to engage various targets, such as structures, bunkers and enemy personnel.”
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.
The FFE’s light weight allows smaller units to increase the amount of shoulder-fired munitions available during operations. It also provides them with an easy-to-carry, fast-to-employ system designed to defeat multiple targets in all conditions.
“Advancements made to the M72 FFE rounds makes it one of the most lethal, dependable and flexible munitions available in the world today,” said Dooley.
PM Ammo expects to field the M72 FFE in fiscal year 2022.
Story by Matt Gonzales
Marine Corps Systems Command