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. The M72 LAW (Light Anti-Tank Weapon, also referred to as the Light Anti-Armor Weapon or LAW as well as LAWS: Light Anti-Armor Weapons System) is a portable one-shot 66-mm unguided anti-tank weapon Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Dec. 19, 2026. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Newark, New Jersey, is the contracting activity.
The M72 Light Assault Weapon was developed in the newly formed Rohm and Haas research laboratory at Redstone Arsenal in 1959, then the full system was designed by Paul V. Choate, Charles B. Weeks, Frank A. Spinale, et al. at the Hesse-Eastern Division of Norris Thermadore. The M72 LAW is a combination of the two World War II weapons. The basic principle is a miniaturized bazooka, while its light weight and cheapness rival the Panzerfaust. American production of the weapon began by Hesse-Eastern in 1963, and was terminated by 1983; currently it is produced by Nammo Raufoss AS in Norway and their subsidiary Nammo Talley, Inc. in Arizona.
The weapon consists of a rocket within a launcher consisting of two tubes, one inside the other. While closed, the outer assembly serves as a watertight container for the rocket and the percussion-cap firing mechanism that activates the rocket. The outer tube contains the trigger, the arming handle, front and rear sights, and the rear cover. The inner tube contains the channel assembly, which houses the firing pin assembly, including the detent lever. The rocket motor burns completely before leaving the mouth of the launcher, producing a backblast of gases around 1,400 °F (760 °C). The rocket propels the 66-mm warhead forward without significant recoil.
The M72 Light Assault Weapon is a 66mm caliber single use light anti-tank weapon effective against a range of targets such as armored vehicles, personnel, lightly fortified structures, or similar. The M72 is qualified and in use by a wide range of armed forces in several (mostly NATO) countries and offers a good combination of low weight and heavy firepower. In a regular usage scenario, it is fired from the shoulder of the operator. he M72 LAW was issued as a prepackaged round of ammunition. Improvements to the launcher and differences in the ammunition were differentiated by a single designation. The original M72 warhead penetrated 5 centimeters(2 inches) of armor.