FGM-172 SRAW

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FGM-172 SRAW
SRAW.jpg
A Computer Graphics representation of FGM-172 SRAW.
Type Anti-Tank Missile Launcher
Place of origin United States
Service history
In service 2002–~2006
Used by United States
Production history
Designer Lockheed Martin
Designed 1994-2002
Manufacturer Lockheed Martin
Produced 2002-2003
No. built 960
Variants FGM-172A anti-tank
FGM-172B assault
Specifications
Weight 9.7 kg (21 lb)
Length 70.5 cm (2 ft 3 34 in)
Width 14 cm (5.5 in)

Cartridge Single shot
Caliber 139.7 mm (fires 139 mm rockets)
Muzzle velocity 250 m/s (820 ft/s)
Effective firing range 17 to 600 m (19 to 660 yd)
Filling FGM-172A: Explosively Formed Penetrator
FGM-172B: multipurpose blast warhead

The FGM-172 SRAW (Short-Range Assault Weapon), also known as the Predator SRAW, was a lightweight, close range missile system produced by Lockheed Martin, developed by Lockheed Martin and Israel Military Industries.[1] It was designed to complement the Javelin anti-tank missile. The Predator had a longer range and was more powerful than the AT4 that it is designed to replace, but had a shorter range than the Javelin.

The missile system received the FGM-172 designation from the Department of Defense in 2006. Prior to that it was known as the SRAW MK 40 MOD 0.

Features

The Predator was a fire-and-forget weapon utilizing a pre-launch system where the gunner tracked the target three seconds before launch and the internal system measured target speed and direction and was used in conjunction with known missile flight performance to predict where the target would be when the missile was in a position to intercept. The missile's flight path would overfly the target aim point. A dual laser and magnetic sensor would detect the target and trigger the detonation of the warhead. The laser sensor would locate the positions of the leading and trailing edges of the tank, and the magnetic sensor would provide confirmation of the position of the tank. The missile also used an inertial guidance unit to guide the weapon over the predicted intercept point, compensating for crosswind and launcher motion (the launcher may be mounted on or fired from a vehicle). For direct attacks the missile acted as an unguided, flattened trajectory, line-of-sight weapon and the warhead detonates on impact.[2]

Advantages

The Predator is a useful complement for Javelin since it has a significantly shorter minimum range, especially in direct attack mode where it can be fired window to window across a typical street. It is also much lighter than Javelin which makes carrying one or more additional rounds easier where the situation warrants or allows a lighter and shorter range solution. Additionally, because it utilizes a different guidance mechanism it is more difficult to defeat both threats with a single defense. It can also be carried by every member of the platoon, giving infantry units increased firepower and survivability against enemy armor.

Variants

The missile was produced in two variants, each with a separate weapons payload.

The FGM-172A featured a downward-firing top attack warhead activated by a dual sensor fuse, intended for use as an anti-armor weapon.

The FGM-172B featured a multi-purpose blast-fragmentation warhead, intended for use as an assault weapon. Also known as the FGM-172B SRAW-MPV.

History

The SRAW (Short-Range Assault Weapon) program was begun by the U.S. Marine Corps in 1987 as a replacement for existing unguided M72 LAW and AT4 anti-armor rockets. A demonstration/validation phase was conducted by several companies between February 1990 and mid-1993, with the first test firings occurring in 1991. In July 1994, the Predator design of Loral (now Lockheed Martin) was selected for the EMD (Engineering and Manufacturing Development) phase. EMD Phase I was completed in March 1998, followed by Phase II; 230 missiles were produced during EMD. In February 2002, the Marine Corps signed a contract with Lockheed Martin for the low-rate initial production (LRIP) of 330 Predator systems, with a second LRIP contract for 400 systems signed in January 2003. In October 2003, the Marine Corps announced a decision to cancel further procurement of the system following completion of low-rate production. The system successfully completed first article and lot 1 testing at the Naval Air Warfare Center, China Lake, California in December 2003. In June 2004, Lockheed Martin received a contract to refit all 700 remaining SRAW rounds to the FGM-172B SRAW-MPV (Multi-Purpose Variant) configuration with a new multi-purpose blast-fragmentation warhead, converting the system from an anti-armor to a direct-fire urban assault weapon effective against buildings and bunkers, which better fulfilled the needs of the Marines in response to requirements identified during Operation Iraqi Freedom; delivery of the first 400 rounds was completed in May 2005.[2][3] As of 2005, all the FGM-172A missiles supplied previously to the USMC had been retrofitted with the FGM-172B multi-purpose blast warhead to replace the top attack anti-armor warhead.[4]

The Kestrel was a derivative of the Predator for the British Army's Next-generation Light Anti-tank Weapon (NLAW). In 2000, the UK Ministry of Defence carried out trials of 13 Kestrels. In May 2002, the Saab Bofors Dynamics MBT-LAW was chosen for the UK NLAW requirement.[2][3] In 2003, the U.S. Army decided not to adopt a version of the Predator as its MPIM/SRAW (Multipurpose Individual Munition - Short Range Assault Weapon) candidate.[5]

Former operators

References

  1. ^ "Lockheed Martin to Develop Follow-on to Shoulder-Launched Multi-Purpose Assault Weapon for U.S. Marine Corps". Archived from the original on 2011-10-20. 
  2. ^ a b c "Army Technology FGM-172 SRAW". Retrieved 2012-05-12. [unreliable source?]
  3. ^ a b "Lockheed Martin FGM-172 SRAW". 2006-09-27. Retrieved 2008-10-28. 
  4. ^ Jennifer Allen (2005-05-26). "Lockheed Martin, Responding to U.S. Marine Corps Needs, Converts Anti-Tank Missile for Urban Assault" (press release). Lockheed Martin. 
  5. ^ John Antal "Packing a Punch: America's Man-Portable Antitank Weapons" page 88 Military Technology 3/2010, Monch Publishing

External links

  • Lockheed Martin video on firing of Predator
  • Multi-Purpose Individual Munition - Forecast International
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