Norway to donate 2,000 M72 LAW man-portable anti-tank rocket weapons to Ukraine

According to information released by the Norwegian Ministry of Defense on February 28, 2022, Norway will give 2,000 M72 LAW man-portable anti-tank weapons to Ukraine as part of international aid to fight the Russian invasion of Ukrainian territory.
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U.S. Marine fires an M72 Light Anti-Tank Weapon trainer during training. (Picture source U.S. DoD)

‘The Norwegian Government decided this afternoon that Norway will offer arms support to enable Ukraine to defend itself against the military attack from Russia. We are therefore aligning our actions with our close allies and the other Nordic countries. Norway has a restrictive policy with regard to exporting defense-related products, but Ukraine is now in a desperate and extraordinary situation,’ Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre said.

Along with other countries, Norway received an overview of the military equipment needed by Ukraine. Based on this, the Norwegian Armed Forces assessed what Norway could rapidly provide. The Government has decided to donate up to 2,000 M72 anti-tank weapons.

The M-72 LAW is a light single-use, recoil-less, anti-tank weapon for close-range combat, designed to let part of the propellant gases escape to the rear. Additionally, it is a discardable, self-contained rocket launcher. The M72 LAW’s warhead has excellent penetration ability and lethal after-armor effects. The extremely destructive, shaped-charge explosive penetrates more than 300mm of armor. It has a firing range from 10 m to 200 m

‘This is a contribution to support Ukraine in its defense against the military invasion. These are weapons that are easy to deploy and are used to defend against attacking armored vehicles. The Norwegian Armed Forces are now working to prepare and send the weapons as quickly as possible,’ said Norwegian Minister of Defense Odd Roger Enoksen.

Norway has previously allowed other countries to support Ukraine by providing Norwegian-produced ammunition or weapons. On 27 February, the Government decided to donate protective equipment such as helmets and bulletproof vests to Ukraine.

‘After consultations with the Storting, the Government has decided to donate weapons to Ukraine. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine makes it necessary for us to take unprecedented decisions and action,’ Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt said.

The weapons will be provided as a donation from one state to another, not a commercial export.