US inked a 66mm M72 Fire-From-Enclosure anti-tank weapon deal

WASHINGTON — Nammo Defense Systems Inc., an American subsidiary of the Norwegian group Nammo, has signed a framework agreement for the production and supply of multi-purpose weapons M72 Fire-From-Eclosure [M72 FFE] and related training systems worth up to $498 million. In the first batch, the $96.9 million systems are due to be delivered over the next five years, with delivery starting in 2023.

US inked a 66mm M72 FFE anti-tank disposable weapon deal
Photo credit: Cpl. Jesus Sepulveda Torres/Marine Corps

The M72 Light Assault Weapon is a compact, lightweight single-shot single-shot weapon system with a variety of warheads, used by both the U.S. Army and Marine Corps. The United States Marine Corps Command [MCSC] announced in the summer of 2020 that it intends to purchase a new generation of the M72 family of weapons in the A8 [armor-piercing] and A10 [anti-structural] variants.

Unlike older models, the new version, known as the M72 Fire-From-Eclosure, should also be able to be used in tight and enclosed spaces. According to Nammo, this is made possible by the use of “a patented high-density inert organic fluid and a patented propulsion system”.

US inked a 66mm M72 FFE anti-tank disposable weapon deal
Photo credit: Nammo

In addition, the FFE produces a significantly reduced light and noise signature when fired, as well as less recoil. Unlike older versions of the M72, this combination offers several advantages: on the one hand, it is now much harder for the opponent to find a shooter, and on the other hand, the shooter is less stressed by the forces acting when firing, which increases its effectiveness in battle. The system weight of the M72 FFE is specified by the manufacturer at about 5.8 kilograms.

The M72 family

M72 is a light disposable anti-tank weapon with a caliber of 66 mm, which can be used against several targets such as armored vehicles, people, and light fortified structures. The M72 is qualified and used by a wide variety of armed forces. The breakthrough characteristics of the M72 variants designed to combat armored vehicles are specified by Nammo with at least 450 mm armored steel. Although the M72 dates back to the early 1960s, the weapon was further developed by several manufacturers over the decades and is still in production today.

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