The M3E1 is an 84mm lightweight, man-portable, direct-fire recoilless rifle in use by U.S. Army and Special Forces. The M3E1 MAAWS is effective against light/medium armor, personnel in open/defilade, bunkers and structural targets out to 1300 meters. The M3E1 MAAWS can also provide an effective illumination and obscuration capability out to 2200 meters.
The lightweight M3E1 MAAWS is a product improvement to the legacy M3 currently in operational use with the Army and USSOCOM. The M3E1 MAAWS is part of an effort to reduce weight (< 15lbs vs. 22lbs) and increase capability within the IBCTs/SBCTs and Scouts. Operational feedback and live-fire events with Soldiers and SOF Operators has shown a 90% or greater hit ratio on both moving targets at 300 meters and stationary targets out to 850 meters resulting in a 60% increase in operational effectiveness over the legacy M3 weapon system.
The M3E1 also incorporates an advanced fire control system (FCS13RE) with an integrated laser range finder and modular ballistic computer capable of programming high explosive air-bursting ammunition (1400 meters) and engaging moving targets (600 meters). This enhanced capability will significantly increase the Army’s Infantry forces ability to effectively engage and defeat near peer threat adversaries operating in urban and complex terrain, within armored vehicles and from defensive positions in defilade out to ranges of 1400m.
The M3E1 MAAWS was Urgent Materiel Released to operational units within the U.S. Army and USSOCOM on 11 March 2019. The Marine Corps has also adopted the Army’s MAAWS requirement in FY19 and will begin fielding lightweight M3E1s to their Infantry and Combat Engineer formations as early as FY21. Over the next five (5) years, both the Army and Marine Corps are expected to procure and field more than 2,500 of the lightweight M3E1s w/Fire Control Unit to their close combat operational force.
The lightweight M3e1 MAAWS can fire a range of projectiles:
- High Explosive Dual Purpose Round (Light Armor and Structures)
- High Explosive Anti-Tank Round (Medium Armor)
- High Explosive Round (Airburst)
- Multi-Target Round (Behind Wall Effects)
- Anti-Structure Munition (Thermobaric)
- Illumination Round
- Smoke Round
- Area Defense Munition (Canister Round)
Note: FY20 New Start Program: High Explosive – Programmable Round (Extended Range Airburst) is part of the OSD Close Combat Counter-Defilade Target initiative.