Mk153 SMAW Modified With Phone for IDF

A pretty nifty little video from a pro-Ukrainian account demonstrating a modification for the Mk153 SMAW. A phone with a clinometer app is attached to the weapon, allowing it to be employed in an indirect fire mode.


The Shoulder Fired Multi-Purpose Assault Weapon (SMAW) is a bunker-buster assault weapon firing 83mm rockets of varying types. The launcher is reusable, and rockets are contained in disposable canisters and loaded from the rear. Rocket warheads include High Explosive Dual Purpose (HEDP), High Explosive Anti-Armor (HEAA), and a novel explosive rocket (SMAW-NE) that uses a thermobaric warhead which creates an overpressure wave inside a building, bunker, or cave. When developed, the Army initially showed little interest, and the system was adopted by the U.S. Marine Corps, though the Army would eventually acquire the disposable SMAW-D. In the Marine Corps, the SMAW employed by assault teams, which are part of the weapons platoon in a rifle company and are also employed by scouts in a Light Armored Reconnaissance Company. In addition to being trained to employ the Mk153 SMAW, Marine Corps assaultmen are trained in demolitions and urban mobility breaching.


The SMAW is one of my favorite weapons, and there are times when we really got our money’s worth out of these things. When engaging enemy in buildings or in prepared defensive positions, the preferred technique was to breach the building with a SMAW HEDP round, followed by an NE round inside the structure. In some cases the occupants would become extra crispy, and in a few instances a well-placed thermobaric round could cause a building to collapse. The SMAW has a vicious back-blast and the overpressure can cause discomfort or injury to those who are too close, and because of these factors it is usually recommended that an individual not fire more than two in one day (in training), though we had a particularly aggressive NCO who ran through a dozen in a few hours (it was a busy night). I would imagine that a weapon that violent would be pretty hard on a smartphone, but if it works, it works.


About the Author

Author's Photo

Cam

Cam served as an infantry officer in the Marine Corps, deploying to the Horn of Africa and participating in combat operations in Iraq. He currently works in the maritime industry and in the defense sector as an instructor of combined arms planning and operations. An avid sailor, Cam founded and directs a nonprofit that supports veterans and first responders through sailing.

Published 9 months ago

A pretty nifty little video from a pro-Ukrainian account demonstrating a modification for the Mk153 SMAW. A phone with a clinometer app is attached to the weapon, allowing it to be employed in an indirect fire mode.


The Shoulder Fired Multi-Purpose Assault Weapon (SMAW) is a bunker-buster assault weapon firing 83mm rockets of varying types. The launcher is reusable, and rockets are contained in disposable canisters and loaded from the rear. Rocket warheads include High Explosive Dual Purpose (HEDP), High Explosive Anti-Armor (HEAA), and a novel explosive rocket (SMAW-NE) that uses a thermobaric warhead which creates an overpressure wave inside a building, bunker, or cave. When developed, the Army initially showed little interest, and the system was adopted by the U.S. Marine Corps, though the Army would eventually acquire the disposable SMAW-D. In the Marine Corps, the SMAW employed by assault teams, which are part of the weapons platoon in a rifle company and are also employed by scouts in a Light Armored Reconnaissance Company. In addition to being trained to employ the Mk153 SMAW, Marine Corps assaultmen are trained in demolitions and urban mobility breaching.


The SMAW is one of my favorite weapons, and there are times when we really got our money’s worth out of these things. When engaging enemy in buildings or in prepared defensive positions, the preferred technique was to breach the building with a SMAW HEDP round, followed by an NE round inside the structure. In some cases the occupants would become extra crispy, and in a few instances a well-placed thermobaric round could cause a building to collapse. The SMAW has a vicious back-blast and the overpressure can cause discomfort or injury to those who are too close, and because of these factors it is usually recommended that an individual not fire more than two in one day (in training), though we had a particularly aggressive NCO who ran through a dozen in a few hours (it was a busy night). I would imagine that a weapon that violent would be pretty hard on a smartphone, but if it works, it works.


About the Author

Author's Photo

Cam

Cam served as an infantry officer in the Marine Corps, deploying to the Horn of Africa and participating in combat operations in Iraq. He currently works in the maritime industry and in the defense sector as an instructor of combined arms planning and operations. An avid sailor, Cam founded and directs a nonprofit that supports veterans and first responders through sailing.

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