Ukraine | Delivery of military equipment (M72 LAWs) from Norway to a non-NATO country after 72 years
Defence Redefined
Published on 04/03/2022 at 17:48

According to a statement by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a C-130 transport aircraft of the Norwegian Air Force took off today carrying 2000 single-use M72 LAW launchers to be delivered to the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

The decision overturns a Norwegian policy that has been in place since the 1950s not to send weapons to non-NATO countries at war or in danger of armed conflict. “Norway has strict policies regarding the export of military equipment, but Ukraine is now facing emergency situations,” said Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere.

The M72 LAW (Light Anti-Armor Weapon) was developed in the 1960s and manufactured by Talley Defense Systems in the USA and under license by Nammo in Norway (through repurchase by the American Talley Defense Systems), while it was copied and produced in Czechoslovakia and Russia as RPG-18 and RPG-26. Newer and improved versions of the LA72 M72 series were built in the 1990s and include the M72A4, M72A5, M72A6, and M72A7.

The M72 LAW is a lightweight, man-portable, but one-shot anti-tank ammunition. This weapon system, being easy to use and extremely light and effective, provides close anti-tank defence with a range that can reach up to 1000 meters and can be fired even from inside buildings (Fire from Enclosure capability – FFE), allowing users to maintain cover and concealed positions. Its claimed armor penetration is 450 mm RHA (Rolled Homogeneous Armor) and it can fire against lightly armored vehicles.

Also read: NLAW | UK military assistance to Ukraine – VIDEO

Its technical characteristics include the following:

  • Length: Extended:> 1 meter / Collapsed: 0.67 meters
  • Weight: 2.5 kg
  • Rocket caliber: 66 mm
  • Muzzle velocity: 145 meters per second
  • Rocket length: 50.8 cm
  • Rocket weight: 1.8 kg 
  • Minimum range: 10 meters 
  • Maximum range: 1,000 meters 
  • Effective and maximum range: Stationary target: 200 meters / Moving target: 165 meters 
  • Warhead: high-explosive antitank (HEAT) warhead
  • Crew: 1 person

It is noted that in the 1970s the first single-use, anti-tank M72A2 LAW ammunitions began joining the Greek arsenal, acquired in large numbers, eventually exceeding 12,000 units.

Finally, Norway promised to send helmets, bulletproof vests, and other equipment to Ukraine, while the Ukrainian Armed Forces have received shipments of M72 LAWs from Denmark, with the last batch of 2,700 M72 LAW ammunitions delivered to Ukraine yesterday, according to an announcement by the Danish Ministry of Defence.

Anti-tank weapons, as is already known, are among the military aid that European countries, including Greece, have already begun to send to Ukraine.

Also read: NLAW | UK military assistance to Ukraine – VIDEO




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