Weapons: Israel Follows The LAW

Archives

November 17, 2014: Israel recently ordered over 25,000 of the American M72 LAW (Light Anti-Tank Weapon) disposable (use once) rocket launchers. Israel first looked into this purchase in 2008. They did not follow through with large orders but now have decided that LAW was the way to go based on their own recent battlefield experience and the American experience using LAW in Iraq and Afghanistan.

After 2001 the U.S. Army revived its 1970s era, LAW. The new LAW is more compact (51cm/20 inches long, 66mm/2.6 inches in diameter), lighter (3.5 kg/7.7 pounds) but not much cheaper (about $2,000 each). Its one kg (2.2 pound) warhead can still knock out light armored vehicles (and unarmored ones as well), but it most often used against enemy troops inside bunkers and buildings.

The LAW was revived because it has several advantages. It is compact, light and cheap. Since the 1980s the U.S. Department of Defense had bought several heavier and more expensive weapons to do what the LAW does. One example was the SMAW (Shoulder-Launched Multipurpose Assault Weapon). This was a 7.7 kg (17 pound) Israeli design that was developed in response to the RPG. But the SMAW launcher costs $14,000, and each rocket costs more than their RPG equivalents (and are a bit more effective.) Actually, many troops have expressed an interest in just getting the RPG, which has a larger (1.7 kg/6 pound) warhead, and is a lot cheaper (the RPG launcher goes for about $500 each, brand new, and the more advanced rockets can be had for under a hundred dollars each). However, the compactness of the LAW, and better accuracy, does make a difference on the battlefield, and is considered worth the cost. The LAW is simple, light, easy-to-use and relatively cheap. It’s hard to improve on that, which is why the LAW is making a comeback. Actually, it never went away in many other armies.

 

 

 


Article Archive

Weapons: Current 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