Weapons: Son Of SMAW

Archives

September 2,2008:  The U.S. Marine Corps is getting a new and improved SMAW II, to replace the current SMAW rocket launcher. The marines found the LAW and AT/4 warheads (2.2 and four pounds, respectively) often too small, and bought the Israeli B300 (renamed SMAW, for Shoulder-Launched Multipurpose Assault Weapon) in the mid-1980s. This is a 17 pound launcher that costs $14,000, but is not disposable, and each launcher can fire hundreds of 14 or 15 pound rockets, up to 500 meters, before it wears out or gets broken in action. The warhead is about twice the size of the AT/4s. The marines particularly liked the thermobaric (fuel-air explosive) rocket for the SMAW. These proved very useful during the 2004 battle of Fallujah. Thermobaric warheads, when detonating in a room, first disperse a combustible mist, which is then ignited, producing an enormous explosion, that often destroys small buildings, and kills everyone in the room, and adjacent rooms and hallways.

The SMAW II launcher will weigh 11 pounds and the rockets will be more accurate, more reliable, more destructive and have a range of 600 meters. SMAW II won't be ready for service for at least three years. While SMAW I was developed by Israelis, SMAW II is being developed by a Norwegian firm.

 


Article Archive

Weapons: Current 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 


X

ad
0
20

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close