The United States Marine Corps. is about to celebrate Independence Day 2021 with a whole new set of badass fireworks. The Corps. has begun fielding the M3A1 Multi-Role Anti-Armor Anti-Personnel Weapons System to infantry Marines stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina one of the Marines‘ primary training facilities. According to Marines.mil, “The MAAWS is a reloadable, recoilless rocket system intended to supplement existing shoulder-fired rocket capabilities” Captain Christopher Adsit, Marine Corps. Systems Command project officer for the MAAWS said,
“The MAAWS is a reusable, long-range weapon that provides the capability to destroy armored vehicles, structures and fortifications, which will be useful for infantry Marines,”
“This new rocket system shoots farther than any of our current shoulder-launched rocket systems,” said Adsit. “It significantly increases the shoulder-fired rocket range.”
Meet the M3A1 Carl Gustaf Recoilless Rifle, the core component of the MAAWS. The weapon itself costs about $20,000 with each round running from $500-$3,000 per, it can fire six rounds per minute and weighs about 18.7 lbs.
In addition to the M3A1 (we’ll take seven by the way) there is a fire control system, a backup reflex sight, and munitions to provide “obscuration, illumination, anti-personnel, armor penetration, bunker- and hardened-facility penetration, and other destruction capabilities.”
“The rocket system will change the way the infantry squad fights.” Chief Warrant Officer 4 David Tomlinson, MCSC’s infantry weapons officer
A Well Received Upgrade, As Badass As The Marines Carrying Them
According to Chief Warrant Officer 4, David Tomlinson, MCSC’s infantry weapons officer all Fleet Marines will receive the MAAWS by the end of 2023 and Reserve Marines by 2024. He projects every Marine Corps battalion to have the weapon in their arsenal by 2025.
Live fire training events at Camp Lejeune last year allowed 100 Marines to field test the new rocket system, and it seemed to go pretty well. Sgt. David Beggel, a squad leader with 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment said, “When we do urban operations, we carry a rocket because you don’t know what kind of enemy we’ll have, what capabilities they’ll have,” said Beggel. “This gives us a wide range of opportunities and assets that we can use to destroy a vehicle or take out [the enemy].”
Just watch these Marines test out their badass new toy. OooRah! Semper Fi Marines!