Finland to Buy Locally-Manufactured Anti-Tank Weapon

Finland to Buy Locally-Manufactured Anti-Tank Weapon

Finnish Ministry of Defense Antti Kaikkonen has authorised the Defence Forces Logistics Command on 09 of October to sign a contract with Nammo Lapua Oy to procure light Nammo M72 MK2 Enhanced Capability Lightweight Antitank Weapon ( locally designated 66 KES 12) single-shot anti-tank weapons and training weapons. The procurement’s overall value is about EUR 26 million and includes options for years 2021 and 2022. The procurement is part of the national defence development programme, which aims at improving the Finnish Army combatants’ anti-tank capabilities. Almost all equipment is armoured on the modern battlefields. The procurement will ensure that all Army troops will have the capacity to destroy light armour targets.

The M72 is the most common anti-tank weapon in the Finnish Army. The M72 EC LAW, which features an on-axis trigger and a rail for mounting optics to improve accuracy and weighs in at 3.4 kilograms by utilizing a carbon composite tube, will supplement the AT-4 CS (M/97) and Carl Gustav M3 (M/85) now in service. Nammo Raufoss AS in Norway now produce the 66mm LAW in the United States and Norway. Compared to its predecessor, 66 KES 88, the single-shot anti-tank weapon to be procured has significantly enhanced penetration and usability. Claimed penetration for the 66 KES 12 is 450mm of rolled homogeneous armor steel plate, nearly twice that of the M72A2.

The Finnish Army are reportedly currents testing the 66 KES 12 variant which offers a far reduced backblast, lessening the tell-tale signature of launch and the chances of wounding friendly personnel in the backblast area. The reduced backblast also means reduced over-pressurisation so that the weapon can be fired more safely from within structures. It also features a vastly reduced muzzle flash, reported as equivalent to a 9mm pistol fired at night. To accomplish this, the EC LAW uses a liquid based, fire from enclosure (FFE) propulsion technology. It is possible to mount a night vision sight or a laser sight, for example. It also fields the bunker-buster version, named M72 ASM RC, and locally designated 66 KES 12 RAK.

Nammo M72 MK2 Enhanced Capability Lightweight Antitank Weapon (EC LAW)