MORROW PROJECT WEAPONS LOADOUT #15: M202A1 FLASH
Some of the standard Weapons Issue Loadouts are rather… ‘specialized’ – and consequently overlooked. In this post we will examine one of the oddest: number 15 [1 M202A1 with 3 clips and 1 M10 with 6 mags]
According to M202A1 Operators Manual, this weapon is actually quite versatile but also one of the most dangerous to use. It is something that should be treated with respect; unfortunately, the TM1-1 rulebook gives only a few details.
Background: The M202A1 FLASH (Flame Assault SHoulder Weapon) is a multi-barelled rocket launcher that was designed to be a replacement for the flamethrower.
History: The M202A1 is a lightweight (if we we use a certain generosity in defining ‘lightweight’), reusable, 4-tube rocket launcher. It is half as heavy as the M9A1-7 portable flamethrower (see loadout #13), has much better range, and requires little servicing or maintenance.
The Flash can be used in both offensive and defensive roles. Due to the weapon’s accuracy and the trajectory of the rocket, it can get into areas and enclosures which other weapons cannot enter. It can produce personnel casualties in bunkers, buildings, and covered or open foxholes, as well as damage unarmored vehicles and destroy combustible supplies, ammunition, and materiel.
The M202A1 produces what is euphemistically termed ‘a psychological effect’ – the bright/burning splash of the bursting warhead makes it useful in suppressing crew-served weapons and – when fired near armored vehicles – will normally make the crew ‘button-up’.
The FLASH consists of 4 tubes, eact holding a 66 mm incendiary rocket. These rockets use the same motors as the M72A2 LAW (which is why both weapons have the same “backblast”].
The weapon is loaded with ‘clips’ – consisting of 4 M74 rockets.
Each M74 rocket consists of an M235 warhead, containing approximately 0.61 kg of thickened pyrophoric agent (TPA). TPA is triethylaluminum (TEA) thickened with polyisobutylene. TEA, a organometallic compound, is pyrophoric and burns spontaneously at temperatures of 1200°C (2192°F) when exposed to air. It burns “white hot” because of the aluminum, much hotter than gasoline or napalm. The light and heat emission is very intense and can produce skin burns from some (close) distance without direct contact with flame, by thermal radiation alone. The weapon does not use napalm.
Note that the M202A1 is capable of firing all four rockets at once, not just one at a time. However, the usual practice is to fire one round as a ‘sighting shot’, observe where it impacts and then adjust accordingly
The M202A1 is designed to be fired from the right shoulder, and can be fired from a variety of postions (standing, crouching, or prone).