skip to main content

USMC planning to field M72 LAW FFE variants after delay

Development of the new M72 FFE round has been finalised, and is expected to enter all-up production in 2020. (Nammo)

The US Marine Corps (USMC) will field its first variants of the M72 Light Assault Weapon Fire from Enclosure munitions (LAW FFE) by the end of calendar year 2024, according to a 20 May announcement.

The planned acquisition was first announced in 2020, according to a solicitation released in July 2020. In December 2021 Nammo Defense Systems won a USD498 million contract to build M72 variants with an expected fielding date of fiscal year 2022, according to a press release.

Now, the fielding is expected sometime in calendar year 2024, according to the May release. The delay is due to upgrades to Nammo's facility in Mesa, Arizona, which builds the weapons systems, said Morgan Blackstock, USMC spokesperson.

The company “took time and spent significant investment” to add the ability to manufacture tubes in-house and an automated production line, Blackstock said in an email on 22 May. “Enhanced” safety procedures were also inserted in the production line, according to Blackstock.

Delivery of the first systems is scheduled for June 2024, and production capacity will ramp up to its “max” by mid-2025, Blackstock told Janes . A total of 1,930 M72A10s and 800 M72A8s are projected to be delivered by the end of 2024.

Two configurations – M72A8 anti-armour and the M72A10 multi-purpose – make up USMC's purchase. M72A8 uses a high-explosive charge warhead while M72A10 is designed for anti-structure missions.

Marines already have M72A7 anti-armour and M72A9 Anti-Structure Munition (ASM) weapon systems in their inventory. Improvements include an enhanced in-line trigger mechanism and sling design, according to the statement.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...