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Effects of the M136 AT4 and M72-series LAW on field fortifications or bunkers

Alternatives to give temporary advantages against field fortifications and buildings

The M72-series LAW and the M136 AT4 have proven to have little effect against field fortifications and buildings. The M141 BDM was designed to better enhance the destruction of these fortifications. Its warhead contains a dual-mode fuze that automatically adjusts for the type of target on impact. For soft targets, such as sandbagged bunkers, the M141 BDM warhead automatically adjusts to delayed mode, hits the target with high kinetic energy; this energy propels the warhead through the barrier and into the fortification or building where the fuze detonates the warhead and causes greater damage. Soldiers should not expect to severely damage these type of targets with the M72-series LAW or M136 AT4. However, if the alternatives shown in the table below, are used, Soldiers may be able to gain a temporary advantage.

 

AIM POINT EFFECT WHEN WEAPON IS FIRED AT AIM POINT RECOMMENDED FIRING TECHNIQUE

BUNKER OR FIGHTING POSITION

Firing Port or Aperture Rounds fired into firing ports or apertures may be wasted: rounds detonate inside rear of position, causing little structural damage to the position or to the equipment or personnel within, unless they are hit directly. The M136 AT4 produces less effect than the M72-series LAW. Coordinate fire: Fire shoulderlaunched munition at a point 6 to 12 inches from the front edge of the firing ports in the berm. Fire small arms at the bunker or position to prevent personnel within from returning fire.
Berm Firing at the berm causes the round to detonate outside the fighting position or inside the berm, creating only a small hole in the berm, dust, or minor structural damage to the position, but no damage to personnel or equipment unless they are hit directly. The M136 AT4 produces less effect than the M72-series LAW.  
Window The round may travel completely through the structure before detonating; if not, it creates dust and causes minor structural damage to the rear wall, but little damage to personnel or equipment, unless they are hit directly. The M136 AT4 produces less effect than the M72-series LAW. Fire 6 to 12 inches from the sides or bottom of a window. Light antiarmor rounds explode on contact with brick or concrete, creating an opening whose size is determined by the type of round used.
Wall The round detonates on contact, creating dust and causing a small hole and minor structural damage, but little damage to personnel or equipment, unless they are hit directly.  
Corner Corners are reinforced and thus harder to penetrate than other parts of a wall. Any light antiarmor round will detonate sooner on a corner than on a less dense surface. Detonation should occur in the targeted room, creating dust and causing overpressure, which can temporarily incapacitate personnel inside the structure near the point of detonation. The M136 AT4 causes more overpressure than the M72-series LAW.  

Reference: FM 3-23.25, Shoulder Launched Munitions