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Joined: 24 Apr 2006 Posts: 330 Location: Indiana, USA
Posted: Sun Sep 17, 2006 6:55 am Post subject: NEXTER/Luchaire WASP 58 Assault-AntiArmor Weapon
In the 1980s a lot of individual assault/antiarmor weapons were being introduced to replace weapons like the M72 LAW. They were all good weapons with one exception -- ie their costs. None were in the price range of the original M72 LAW that was introduced in the mid 1960s. For example the US Army is now purchasing M72 LAW from Norway because of the higher cost of the AT4 and due to its weight (a soldier can carry two M72 LAWs in place of one AT4). Luchaire a famous French munition manufacture decided to offer a cheap individual assault-antiarmor weapon that was light and extremely simple to use. They based their weapon on one of their HEAT rifle grenade warheads. Besides the price what made the WASP 58 attractive was that it could be fired from inside an enclosed space.
While the French brochures list the WASP 58 as an "assault rocket launcher" it is not. It uses the Davis recoiless principle where an ejection charge forces the warhead forward out of the tube and a mass off plastic chips out the rear.
Finally, as far as this author knows it was never put into production. The French instead adopted a version of the Swedish AT-4 that could be fired fron an enclosed space when they retired the APILAS which was an interim weapon till the ERYX became operational.
Jack E. Hammond
Note> There are some reports that the WASP 58 was put into limited production for the French Air Force commandos.
Overal Length - 800mm
Total Weight - 3kg
Projectile Weight - 550g
Conter Mass Weight - 900g
Range - 300 meters
Armor Penetration - 400mm
NOTE> If the WASP 58 does have the armor penetration claimed this is astonishing for a HEAT warhead of only 58mm in diameter!
Last edited by jackehammond on Sat Aug 22, 2009 5:23 am; edited 2 times in total
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