LAW 66, M72, L1A1 Light Anti-Tank Weapon

Light Anti-Tank Weapon (LAW 66)

Light Anti-Tank Weapon (LAW 66)

 

The LAW 66, M72, L1A1 is a portable, one-shot, 66 mm, unguided, anti-tank weapon, firing a solid fuel propelled anti-armour rocket. Produced in America by Hesse-Eastern between 1963 and 1983 and subsequently by Nammo Raufoss AS in Norway, and at their subsidiary in Arizona USA.

It replaced the M31 HEAT rifle grenade and the M20A1 Bazooka in all the American armed forces becoming their primary, individual, infantry anti-tank weapon.

The M72 LAW was issued as a pre-packaged round of ammunition and in its most common form, the M72A2, was pre-loaded with a missile carrying a 66 mm HEAT warhead attached to the launcher by its igniter cord. The official, stated, penetration in 1977 was up to 20 cm (8in.) of steel plate, 600 mm (2 feet) of reinforced concrete and 1.8 mtr. (5.9 feet) of soil.

Shaped Charge

Showing how shape charge works

In a combat situation, after firing, it was required that it be destroyed to prevent an enemy from collapsing the tubes to make it look like a discarded, unfired weapon then filling it with explosives and shrapnel and leaving it as a booby trap for the unwary.