The Pentagon on Monday announced a contract for a half-billion dollars worth of M72 Light Anti-Tank Weapon variants.

The award, to Arizona-based Nammo Defense Systems, amounts to a $498,092,926 firm-fixed-price contract for the full-rate production of assorted M72 LAW models variants and components to include training systems. The U.S. Army Contracting Command in Newark, New Jersey issued the five-year contract with an expected completion date in December 2026.

"With more than a million systems delivered, the M72 represents one of the most successful shoulder-fired systems ever developed," says Nammo of the popular system that, besides military service with more than 20 countries-- has appeared in over 100 films, television shows, and video games since Clint Eastwood's Inspector "Dirty Harry" Callahan showed his back-blast savvy in 1976's "The Enforcer"

 

 

Troops throughout history with the M72 LAW
Developed in the 1960s to offer a more man-portable one-shot weapon in lieu of the 15-pound 90mm M20 "Super Bazooka," the original 5.5-pound 66mm M72 LAW has seen continual service since then. The above images are from 1968 Vietnam, 1983 Grenada, and 2008 Iraq. The LAW endures, it would seem. (Photos: National Archives)

 

The current contract covers M72A7 Graze Fuze, M72A8 Fire from Enclosure, M72A9 Anti-Structure Munition, and M72E10 Fire from Enclosure Anti-Structure Munition "war shot" models as well as M72AS trainers with 21mm sub-caliber trainer rockets for the latter. 

 

Marine extending M72 LAW
The M72 LAW system is portable, amounting to a single-use tube containing a 66mm unguided rocket of varying types that is launched after a black powder charge is ignited. The telescoping tube is disposed of after use. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Jesus Sepulveda Torres)

 

Nammo considers the M72 a legendary system. 

 

 

Banner image: "Blast off! A Marine with Company A, 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit's Ground Combat Element, fires an M72A7 rocket launcher during a familiarization course." (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Timothy Valero)

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