Backblast area all clear!

For ages Marines have been trained to yell before firing the Corps’ suite of shoulder-fired rocket systems.

Backblast results from gaseous overpressurization that ruptures out the back when a rocket is fired. It can cause injuries, but also it limits Marines to firing the rockets in open and unconfined spaces, exposing Marines to enemy fire.

But Saab Bofors Dynamics says it may have a solution for the Corps.

Currently, old versions of Saab’s AT-4 anti-tank single shot rockets are to be gradually phased out by a new confined space AT-4, according to Justin Knight, Saab’s Marine Corps representative for shoulder-fired weapon systems.

That means Marines will soon be able to fire the AT-4 in confined spaces, like out of a window inside of a room without the fear of injury from backblast.

The new confined space AT-4 will give Marines more tactical flexibility on the battlefield when it comes to employing shoulder fired anti-tank rockets.

But that’s not all. Saab also has a confined space round for its 84mm recoilless rifle the Carl Gustaf.

According to Knight, the Corps may be interested in procuring a high explosive, dual purpose confined space round for the Carl Gustaf.

That means Marines could soon be firing the Gustaf from inside rooms and confined areas.

So far the Marines have qualified nine different Saab rounds for the Gustaf, according to Knight.

Nammo, the makers of the M-72 light assault weapon, or LAW, is also in the midst of testing a LAW that can be fired from confined spaces.

The new suite of confined space shoulder fired rocket launchers will boast lethality for grunts while also affording extra protection for Marines on the battlefield.

Shawn Snow is the senior reporter for Marine Corps Times and a Marine Corps veteran.

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