Marines ask ADS to build another 425 shoulder-fired rocket launchers to attack bunkers and tanks
QUANTICO, Va. – U.S. Marine Corps leaders needed upgraded shoulder-fired rocket launchers to enable Marines to destroy enemy field fortifications and armored combat vehicles at extended ranges. They found their solution from Atlantic Diving Supply (ADS) Inc. in Virginia Beach, Va.
Officials of the Marine Corps Systems Command at Quantico Marine Base, Va., announced a $17.6 million order to ADS on Wednesday to build 425 Shoulder-Launched Multipurpose Assault Weapon (SMAW) Mod 2 systems. ADS won its original contract to produce 56 SMAW Mod 2 systems in October 2015.
The Mk 153 SMAW is a bazooka-like shoulder-launched portable rocket assault weapon designed to destroy fortified positions like bunkers, as well as enemy armored combat vehicles like armored personnel carriers and main battle tanks.
The SMAW Mod 2 launcher uses standard SMAW ammunition, yet provides an upgraded targeting system that uses an integrated day and night thermal weapon sight and laser range finder to enhance accuracy in a wide variety of field conditions.
The original SMAW system was introduced to the U.S. armed forces in 1984. It had a maximum range of 550 yards against tank-sized targets.
The upgraded SMAW Mod 2 has an electronic modular ballistic sight (MBS) in place of the 9-millimeter spotting system. Its laser rangefinder and thermal weapon sight provide a firing solution using a displaced reticle, where crosshairs adjust for distance and environmental factors.
The SMAW Mod 2 is lighter and more reliable than the original SMAW. While the SMAW Mod 0 weighs 16.5 pounds, the Mod 2 weighs 13 pounds with the MBS attached, and 8.5 pounds with the MBS detached. Other improvements to the SMAW Mod 2 include increased pad size on the forward grip and foldable backup iron sights.
The first 56 Mod 2 systems began deliveries in 2016, with 1,249 to be delivered by October 2020, effectively replacing the existing SMAW inventory. The Mk-153 Mod 2 launcher reached initial operational capability (IOC) in FY 2016 and should reach full operational capability (FOC) in 2018.
The new shoulder-fired rocket systems will go to the I Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Pendleton, Calif., and to the II Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Lejeune, N.C.
On this order ADS will do the work in Londonderry, N.H., and in Lynchburg, Va., and should be finished by September 2018. For more information contact ADS online at https://adsinc.com, or Marine Corps Systems Command at www.marcorsyscom.marines.mil.
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