Mk 153 SMAW

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Mk 153 Mod 0 SMAW - 83mm

The Mk 153 SMAW (Shoulder-launched Multipurpose Assault Weapon) is a reloadable shoulder-fired rocket launcher designed by McDonnell Douglas and manufactured by Nammo Talley, and used by the United States Marine Corps (and the US Army during Desert Storm). Essentially an enhanced version of the Israel Military Industries B300 launcher, the weapon consists of a reusable launcher unit which incorporates the weapon's sights and trigger, and encased pre-loaded rockets which are inserted into the rear of the launcher unit. A variety of projectiles are available: the Mk 3 Mod 0 high-explosive dual purpose (HEDP), Mk 6 Mod 0 high-explosive anti-armor (HEAA), Mk 80 Mod 0 novel explosive (NE, thermobaric) and Mk 7 Mod 0 practice rocket for training.

The Mod 0 variant mounts a British-designed magazine-fed, primer-actuated semi-automatic spotting rifle on the right-hand side of the launcher assembly. This feeds from 6-round magazines which are included in the end cap of each rocket, firing a special 9mm tracer round, the Mk 217 Mod 0, designed to match the ballistics of the rocket. This consists of a 9mm bullet in a necked-out 7.62mm NATO casing, propelled by a .22 Hornet blank which is placed inside the 7.62mm case. The setting back of the Hornet case inside the parent NATO case is what unlocks the weapon's action: it is an unusual variant of blowback operation. The spotting rifle and launcher use the same trigger: this is mechanically linked to the spotting rifle, and fires the rocket using an electromagnetic link. A switch directly above the pistol grip governs which of the two is fired when the trigger is pulled.

Provision is made to mount an AN/PEQ-2 laser aiming module as an alternative to the spotting rifle. The weapon has open iron sights as standard, and can also mount a Mk 42 Mod 0 day sight or AN/PVS-4 or AN/PVS-17B night sight.

The most current version is the Mk 153 Mod 2, which mounts an electronic Modular Ballistic Sight (MBS) that replaces the spotting rifle, incorporating a ballistic computer, laser rangefinder and thermal sight. Due to the lack of the spotting rifle this variant is much lighter, with the launcher unit weighing 13 pounds with the MBS and just 8.5lb without it. 56 Mod 2s were delivered in 2016, with the entire existing inventory scheduled to be replaced by 2020.

The Mk 153 SMAW and variants can be seen in the following films, television series, video games, and anime used by the following actors:


Mk 153 SMAW

(1984-present (Mod 0), 2016-present (Mod 2))

Type: Rocket launcher

Length: 29.92 in (launcher unit), 54 in (with Mk 3 Mod 0 HEDP rocket loaded)

Weight: 16.92 lbs (Mod 0 launcher unit), 29.34 lbs (Mod 0 with Mk 3 Mod 0 HEDP rocket loaded)

Calibre: 83mm rocket, 9x51mm spotting rifle

Capacity: 1 rocket, 6 9x51mm rounds in detachable box magazine (stored in rocket cap)

Fire modes: Safe / fire (launcher), safe / semi-auto (spotting rifle)


Title Actor Character Note Date
Kick-Ass Stu Riley Huge Goon Referred to as "Bazooka"; mock-up 2010
Kick-Ass Aaron Johnson Kick-Ass Referred to as "Bazooka"; mock-up 2010
The A-Team Brian Bloom Pike 2010


Title Actor Character Note Date
Ultimate Weapons soldiers Firepower;archive footage 2010

Video Games

Game Title Appears as Mods Notation Release Date
Project Reality With ACOG scope, firing HEAA and HEDP rockets with functional spotting rifle 2005
Mercenaries 2: World in Flames Anti-Tank Launcher 2008
ArmA II 2009
Operation Flashpoint 2: Dragon Rising With AN/PVS-4 Thermal Scope 2009
Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light "Rocket Launcher" 2010
Battlefield 3 SMAW 2011
Operation Flashpoint: Red River 2011
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 SMAW Incorrectly shown as disposable 2011
Medal of Honor: Warfighter SMAW 2012
Battlefield 4 SMAW 2013


Title Character Note Date
Macross Zero UN marines 2002-2004
Waiting in the Summer Men in Black 2012
Wizard Barristers: Benmashi Cecil Inspector Quinn Erari 2014
Sword Art Online II Seen on sign 2014 - ????


M141 SMAW-D launcher and HEDP rocket - 83mm


Title Actor Character Note Date
Bad Boys II Antoni Corone D.E.A. Agent Tony Dodd 2003
Cradle 2 the Grave DMX Anthony Fait Used as part of vault-busting rig 2003
War of the Worlds U.S. Marine AN/PVS-4 night-vision scope 2005
Skyline U.S. Marine 2010


Title Actor Character Note Date
NCIS "Split Decision" Seen on website 2003
24 Cheng's man 2007
Burn Notice Mercenary "Loose Ends, Part 1" (S1E11) 2007
24 Doug Hutchison Davros With red dot scope 2010
Lost "Cabin Fever"; Seen loaded on helicopter 2004 - 2010
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles Human resistance fighter

Video Games

Game Title Appears as Mods Notation Release Date
America's Army Bunker Defeat Munition (BDM) 2002


Character Title Note Date
Weapon dealers Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex 2nd Gig 2004 - 2005


B-300 - 83mm

The SMAW is a later variant on the B-300, which was developed in the seventies by IMI.


Title Actor Character Note Date
The Delta Force Chuck Norris Maj. Scott McCoy 1986
The Delta Force Steve James Bobby 1986

See Also

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