The M72 LAW (Lightweight Anti-Tank Weapon) is a portable anti-armor weapon, limited to firing a single rocket.
The M72 replaced the famed Bazooka as the U.S. Army's principle anti-tank weapon, following the Korean War. Largely used throughout the Vietnam War, it saw continued use in later conflicts, thanks to its low cost and lightweight.
- Main article: Peace Walker Incident
After being rescued by Big Boss, during the Peace Walker Incident, Amanda Valenciano Libre's FSLN unit discovered an M72A3 LAW among some crates at the Eastern Limón boathouse, and held the weapon up victoriously. Big Boss later used a LAW against Kidnapper drones launched by the Chrysalis AI Weapon. However, while he was able to shoot the drones down with ease, Chrysalis managed to evade the shot at the last possible second, causing Big Boss to react with surprise, before Amanda explained that it was an unmanned weapon. The weapons system was procured by Big Boss's Militaires Sans Frontières shortly thereafter, and was eventually upgraded. Peace Sentinel also utilized this weapons system a few times, namely during vehicle battles.
South American rebel soldiers used these weapons while attempting to fight against their country's current regime. Drebin 893 also had at least two M72A3 LAWs inside his Stryker, presumably as weapons to be sold.
Behind the scenes
The M72A3 is featured in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots as one of several anti-tank weapons. The player can procure this weapon either through Drebin or by gaining the trust of the South American rebel soldiers. Like the real world M72A3, it is limited to single-shot only, but is still a useful weapon.
The M72A3 LAW reappears in Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker as one of the Militaires Sans Frontières' missile weapons. It can be upgraded via the R&D Team, which not only gives it a different colored launcher as the rank increases (Rank 1 is green, Rank 2 is yellow, and Rank 3 and Rank 4 are gray), but also increases its explosive power. It is one of the few unlockable weapons and equipment in the game to be available immediately upon unlocking it (ie, it doesn't require undergoing development to access the weapon beforehand).
- "A disposable rocket launcher developed to give infantry a means of attacking hard targets such as light armorred vehicles and bunkers. It is light and compact enough for a soldier to carry several at once without being slowed down.
The LAW rocket packs quite a punch for such a small package; a single shot can take an entire pack of enemies in one fell swoop.
When using the LAW, keep an eye on your remaining stock, as each launcher is good for only one use."
- ―M72 LAW description in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker