Rifleman's Assault Weapon

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Rifleman's Assault Weapon
Type Close support rocket
Place of origin  United States
Service history
In service 1990s
Used by United States Marine Corps
Production history
Manufacturer Brunswick Corporation
Produced 1977–1990s
Specifications
Weight 4.7 kg
Length 305 mm

Caliber 140 mm warhead
Muzzle velocity 173 m/s at 200 meters
Effective firing range 300 m
Maximum firing range ~1500 m
External images
Brunswick RAW
Soldier Preparing to Fire RAW
Tech Info Page 1
Tech Info Page 2
Tech Info Page 3

The Rifleman's Assault Weapon (also called RAW) was a close-support rocket-propelled grenade developed around 1977 and put into limited service by the United States Marine Corps in the 1990s.[1] It was developed in response to a military requirement for a multi-purpose close support weapon. The RAW's rocket-propelled spherical munition was fired from an ArmaLite AR-15/ M16 rifle and was capable of blowing holes through masonry walls and disabling light armored vehicles.

The RAW's 1-kg high explosive squash head (HESH) warhead could penetrate 20 cm of reinforced concrete (creating a 36 cm-wide hole) and hit moving targets at a range of 300 meters. The RAW was considered to be ideal for the conditions of urban warfare.[2] Reconsideration by the U.S. military as to what kind of close support weapon they were seeking resulted in only limited procurement of the RAW, despite the weapon performing to specification and displaying a remarkably flat trajectory to a range of 300 meters. Brunswick Corporation also developed an antitank version of the RAW. Brunswick later sold the design for the RAW to KDI Precision Products, Inc., which became part of L-3 Communications in 2001.[3]

Performance of RAW and contemporary weapons
Effectiveness against reinforced concrete
Munition Penetration in cm Max effective range in meters
140-mm RAW 20 300
40-mm HEDP Grenade ~ 15 400
83-mm Bunker Defeat Munition (SMAW-D) 20 500
Data source for weapons performance is Jane's Infantry Weapons 1995–96, Jane's Ammunition Handbook 1994, and M141 BDM.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Jane's Infantry Weapons 1995–96, p. 219.
  2. ^ Jane's Infantry Weapons 1984–85, p. 661.
  3. ^ Forecast International Comments on RAW.