How capable is Canadian M72 cold war era anti-armor weapon in modern warfare

M72 anti tank weapon

Throughout the twentieth century, the Canadian Army used various weapons, from bolt-action rifles to fully automatic assault rifles, as regular infantry weapons. During World War I, artillery became a highly scientific weapon. Numerous weapons such as grenades, mines, and flame weapons were developed to aid Canadian soldiers in their battlefield duties.

In the 1970s, the M72 became available to Canadian forces as additional anti-armor weaponry, particularly for infantry. The M72 is the official designation. However, it is commonly known as the Short-Range Anti-Armor Weapon – Light.
The US military in Vietnam utilized this weapon, sometimes known as the LAW (Light Anti-Armor Weapon), extensively against armor and other challenging targets like bunkers and walls.

This US-designed weapon is a disposable rocket launcher. The gun weighs less than 2.5kg, measures less than a meter in length, and comes with an integral sling, all of which make it very portable. Improvements in tank armor since the weapon’s inception during the Vietnam War have reduced the M72’s effectiveness in its original role. However, it remains helpful in bunker work or urban combat.

The range is a limiting factor in the use of weapons; the maximum capacity is 1000 meters, but the effective range is generally considered 300 meters, or 150 meters against a moving target.

As a recoilless weapon, the M72 produces a violent back burst, limiting its use in enclosed areas such as vehicles, bunkers, or buildings, and also has a 60-degree cone of flame and exhaust that extends 25m behind the weapon – Raised Dust, dust or debris and quickly reveal the location of the shooter.

The M72, on the other hand, is a breeze to operate. Soldiers take off the tube cover, stretch the weapon (which has been folded for transport), raise the sight, and snap the weapon switch. Weapons are fired, and launchers are abandoned, destroyed, or possibly kept for training and practice during peacetime.
The M72 rocket weighs one kilogram and can pierce 300 mm of primary steel.

The M18 warhead in the M72C7 model has a 34-gram explosive charge. It is effective against conventional armor plates but not explosive reactive armor (ERA) or ceramic add-on armor.

On the range, small-caliber training inserts can be fired to mimic the trajectory of a full-caliber M72.

The M72 can only be loaded with one type of rocket at a time. It requires two extra free inventory slots to carry: The missile is always fired with an initial velocity of 30 m/s and only needs 0.2 seconds after launch to reach a maximum speed of 350 m/s in mid-flight. The warhead has a blast radius of 2.5 meters.

its different variants, The M72A4 and M72A5 warheads are optimized for greater armor penetration and are better suited for use against the tanks, while M72A6 and A7 warheads are optimized against targets such as APC armors sytems

Leave a Reply