MANUFACTURER(S): Forsvarets FabriksVerk (FFV) Ordnance - Sweden
OPERATORS: Austria; Finland; Sweden
ACTION: Integrated Mechanism
LENGTH (OVERALL): 900 millimeters (35.43 inches)
LENGTH (BARREL): 900 millimeters (35.43 inches)
WEIGHT (UNLOADED): 6.39 pounds (2.90 kilograms)
SIGHTS: Integrated Sights (Simple).
MUZZLE VELOCITY: 520 feet-per-second (158 meters-per-second)
RATE-OF-FIRE: 1 rounds-per-minute
RANGE (EFFECTIVE): 820 feet (250 meters; 273 yards)
Detailing the development and operational history of the FFV Pansarskott m/68 (Miniman) Man-Portable, Shoulder-Fired Disposable Anti-Tank Weapon System.
Entry last updated on 5/25/2018.
Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
The rise of heavier-armored and armed tracked combat vehicles during the post-war world (1947-1991) gave an equal rise to the proliferation of armor-defeating, anti-tank weapons. Case-in-point, the FFV Pansarskott m/68 "Miniman" developed by FFV Ordnance (Forsvarets FabriksVerk) of Sweden to better equip squad-level infantry for countering armored threats. The Miniman was introduced in 1968 (though it has since been succeeded) and appears to have seen only modest use across Europe.
At its core, the weapon fired a 74mm, unguided HEAT-based (High-Explosive, Anti-Tank) projectile from a 2.10 foot shoulder-mounted launch tube out to a range of 270 yards (moving targets could be engaged within 160 yards for peak effectiveness). The copper-lined, spring-loaded / fin-stabilized projectile would leave the firing tube at a muzzle velocity of 520 feet-per-second and featured an Octol filling, which - when coupled with the projectile's shape - proved capable of defeating up to 340mm of Rolled Homogenous Armor (RHA). The single-piece fiberglass launch tube was designed as wholly-disposable and of a single-shot nature, preloaded at the factory and delivered nearly ready-to-fire (two weapons were held delivered in a single transport case). Weighing just 6.5lb, an operator could carry several into battle with him (a second infantryman could act as a support to the firer as needed) alongside his standard-issue weapon. Simplified sights were fitted for some accurized fire-at-range as were a cocking lever and firing button.
The result was a highly useful, ultra-portable weapon system in the same vein as the American M72 LAW (detailed elsewhere on this site) and suitable for tackling most armored threats that could befall a standard infantry detachment. Since the tube was open at both ends, the weapon was essentially recoilless (which aided accuracy) though this precluded its operation within enclosed spaces such as buildings. The projectile's anti-armor qualities could also prove useful in demolition of fortified structures to an extent.
The Miniman was officially succeeded in the Swedish Army inventory by the FFV AT4 anti-tank weapon system (detailed elsewhere on this site) which arrived in 1987 and now counts dozens of operators globally, including the United States, whole already having seen considerable wartime service since introduction. The AT4 relies on the same firing system used in the proven Miniman product of the Cold War period.
Operators of the Miniman went on to include Austria and Finland as well where it was known as the "Panzerabwehrrohr 70 (PAR70)" and "74 KES 68 MINIMAN", respectively.
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