Lithuanian army receives massive gift of M72 LAW antitank weapons from US
The Lithuanian Ministry of Defense announced on April 14 that the U.S. donated to Lithuania M72 LAWs (Light Antitank Weapon) which will be used to arm the National Defence Volunteer Force of the Lithuanian Armed Forces. This is not the first time the United States boosts the Lithuanian defence by investing several tens of millions of dollars in its weaponry.
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The donation of the US.M72 LAWs was handed over to the National Defence System at a ceremony held at the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas Headquarters Battalion in Vilnius. (Picture source: Lithuanian MoD/A. Pliadis)
The donation was handed over to the National Defence System at a ceremony held at the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas Headquarters Battalion in Vilnius. The event was attended by Minister of National Defence Arvydas Anušauskas, U.S. Ambassador to Lithuania HE Robert S. Gilchrist, Chief of Defence of Lithuania Lieutenant General Valdemaras Rupšys, representatives of the Ministry of National Defence and the Lithuanian Armed Forces.
The M72 LAWs will supplement the current arsenal of Swedish-made Carl-Gustav AT-4 anti-tank weapons used by the Lithuanian Armed Forces infantry. The M72 LAW light anti-tank weapons are of a smaller caliber than the AT-4 and their effective firing range is shorter, however, the M72 LAW is significantly lighter and more compact and these characteristics are particularly relevant to the National Defence Volunteer Force battlefield tactics: “The new weaponry donated by our American allies will greatly enhance the firepower of the volunteer force – light infantry squads. Penetration power of the presented anti-armor weapons is significant enough to effectively destroy armored or not armored vehicles, bunkers and other field engineering fortifications within the range of 200 – 300 meters. The weapon is convenient because it is lightweight and simple to prepare for use, one soldier can carry more than one M72 LAW. We will equip infantry and reconnaissance squads with the new weapons,” said Commander of the National Defence Volunteer Force Col Dainius Pašvenskas.
The M72 LAWs have been combat-tested by U.S. and allied forces in the operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and in other conflicts. Roughly 40 countries worldwide, including the U.S., UK, Canada, Australia, Belgium, Israel, Denmark, Finland, etc., equip their militaries with the M72 LAW.
Lithuanian soldier carrying an M72 LAW/Light Antitank Weapon (Picture source: Lithuanian MoD/A. Pliadis)