Laying down the LAW once again

LAW Goes Back to the Future

Strategy Page notes that the LAW rocket launcher is making a comeback. Though woefully outdated for use against armored vehicles, the AT4 and SMAW are a bit heavy and expensive for use against many of today’s targets.

The LAW has several advantages. It is compact (20 inches long, 2.6 inches in diameter), light (7.7 pounds) and cheap (about $2,000 each). It’s 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.

See Strategy Page for the rest.

MO noted another approach to the need for more appropriate shoulder-fired bunker busters in May when the Marines announced they’d be getting the Predator Short-Range Assault Weapon-Multiple Purpose Variant (SRAW-MPV) .

Plus, Strategy Page has finally added permalinks. Hallelujah.


  1. I kept a LAW in my Humvee in the 1st Gulf War. Less cumbersome (and oviously less powerful) than the AT4. Nice little back-up device in case the going gets rough and much easier to carry for the grunts.

  2. slightly OT: In terms of anti-bunker/lightvehicle power, and not to badmouth rockets, why did they drop the use of the Rifle Grenade? If it were me, I’d rather carry such things than a rocket on my back. Bigger than 40mm, and presumeably more powerful, and can be used as hand grenades in a pinch. Only real drawbacks is the time it takes to put it on; as well as it being fin stabilized (though different tech could change that); and having to aim up a bunch, compared to the LAW/RPGs point-and-shoot (mostly…and 40mm grenades have the same problem)

  3. The rifle grenade required a full-blown .03-06 or .308 blank cartridge – I hear it had a ferocious kick when launching a grenade. I don’t think the .223 M-16 could push a grenade any farther than I could throw it.

  4. 10 years ago I was involved with testing the new LAW. It was directly competing with the AT-4 (but it was bound to loose because the infantry school wanted the AT-4) The new one has much better sights, a bigger warhead and longer range. It is a bit heavier (a pound or so)and longer (a couple of inches)than the original LAW, but it does a hell of a job on bunkers.

  5. Well, anything to avoid adopting the RPG! It’s only about 4x cheaper than the LAW and twice as effective per round, is in current production in many countries, doesn’t limit you to one shot per launcher, and has been steadily upgraded over the years with things like tandem warheads and fuel-air explosives. Wouldn’t want to give U.S. troops anything like that.