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FGM-172 Predator
SRAW (Short-Range Assault Weapon)

This USMC lead program is for the procurement of the Predator Weapon system, formerly known as the Short Range Antitank Weapon (SRAW). The Predator consists of a Missile and disposable launcher. The Predator SRAW is a lightweight (< 22 lbs), one-man portable, short range, disposable, fire-and-forget antitank weapon capable of defeating all current and future Main Battle Tanks incorporating advanced armor protection, supplemental armor kits, and explosive reactive armor.

The Predator features an advanced inertial guidance and control system, a soft launch capabilty, and a lethal, explosively formed penetrator (EFP) warhead. Its soft launch capability allows the weapon to be fired from enclosures, and that combined with the fire-and-forget technology increases gunner survivability. Once launched, the missile flies in a top-attack (i.e., fly over, shoot down) profile and uses optical and magnetic sensors to detect the target and detonate the warhead sending the EFP down through the turret. Predator incorporated a simple fixed reticle optical sight that enables the gunner to effectively engage moving targets from 17 to 200 meters and stationary targets from 17 to 600 meters. Its modular design enhances the ability to incorporate future preplanned product improvements. Predator will satisfy the Marine Corps requirement for a Lightweight Antitank Weapon.

The Short Range Anti-Armor Weapon (SRAW) (Predator), a light weight, disposable main battle tank killer, was designed to replace the AT-4 light skinned vehicle killer. The SRAW completed its 42-month EMD phase in FY 1997. A weapon that supported the urgent need for aman-portable system -- to replace the M72 LAW, the AT4, and the bunker defeat munition (BDM) - was the multipurpose individual munition/short range assault weapon (MPIM/SRAW).

The Marine Corps version is called Predator [no relation to the UAV] Experience in Panama, Operation DESERT STORM, and Somalia identifiedthe requirements for such a weapon, and this joint Army and Marine Corps program was the result. The system would increase soldier lethality through the use of a multipurpose warhead that is effective against both structures and armor. It will also enhance soldier survivability by its soft launch, which allowed for firing from the prone position and from enclosures such as buildings and bunkers. The MPIM/SRAW can be employed from 17 to 200 meters, and the munition will defeat earth and timber bunkers, reinforced masonry walls, and light armored vehicles, killing or incapacitating the enemy through the effects of a penetrating grenade.

The Short Range Antitank Weapon (SRAW) is a short range, man portable, fire and forget weapon system capable of defeating present and future, reactive armor equipped main battle tanks. The system is capable of being fired from any terrain, to include built up areas and enclosed areas. After firing, the expended launcher tube is discarded. The weapon employs a top-down attack profile which enables SRAW to avoid reactive armor and improve penetration. The missile flight profile causes the missile to climb to a height of nine meters. The resulting high angle allows the warhead to explode downward through the relatively thin-skinned turret top or engine compartment.

The Balanced Technology Initiative (BTI) Program was mandated by Congress to address deficiencies in armor and antiarmor technologies. In January 1989, the Director of the BTI Program, with the concurrence of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Marine Corps Research, Development and Acquisition Command (MCRDAC) (now Marine Corps Systems Command), elected to fund five contractors for the next generation man-portable anti-armor weapon system. The charter was to explore both direct attack and top-down attack technologies.

On 14 July 1989, program responsilibity was transferred to MCRDAC. After a six month Concept Exploration and Definition phase was completed in November 1989, a technical evaluation was conducted and two approaches were forwarded: One direct attack and one top-down attack application. In December 1990, the contract for the direct attack approach effort was canceled for the convenience of the government. The remaining contract, with Loral Aeronutronics, is for a top-down attack profile weapon. SRAW will be presented for a MS II Marine Corps Program Decision Meeting (MCPDM) in First Quarter, FY94.

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