The US Assault Marines and combat engineers have demonstrated the capability of new model of the shoulder-launched multipurpose assault weapon (SMAW) Mod 2 at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, US.
During the eight-day trials, the marines test-fired the weapon, which has been upgraded with a new modular ballistic sight (MBS) and demonstrated its capability.
The assessment included new equipment training, pilot testing, record testing and a special test event on the last day while the marines test-fired a total of 146 SMAW common practice rockets at targets ranging from 100 to 300-plus meters.
US Marine Corps System Command (MCSC) Anti-Armor Systems product manager lieutenant colonel Luis Lara said that the weapon testing in a relevant environment will help marines to determine its operational suitability and operational effectiveness.
Following evaluation by the Marine Corps Operational Test and Evaluation Activity, the marines will provide testing feedback to the SMAW project office under Infantry Weapons Systems at MCSC.
"The introduction of the SMAW Mod 2 reduces the overall weight our marines have to carry, which increases their maneuverability," Lara said.
The SMAW weapon system, along with its launcher and family of rockets, will enable the assault team to defeat bunkers and fortified positions, light armoured vehicles and other targets at ranges between 15-500m.
Designed by the US Naval Surface Warfare Center, the MBS is lightweight, detachable and reliable featuring a laser range finder and thermal weapon sight to provide the user a firing solution using crosshairs adjusted for distance and environmental factors.
The SMAW Mod 2 programme is currently under engineering and manufacturing development phase while the production and deployment phase due to begin in the third and fourth quarters of fiscal year 2014.
Fielding decision will be made by project office by end of 2015 and based on solicitation feedback and production readiness.
Image: Marines test fire a SMAW Mod 2 with a new modular ballistic sight. Photo: courtesy of Weis CIV Jeffrey S.