×
Aircraft / Aviation Vehicles & Artillery Infantry Arms Warships & Submarines Military Pay Scale Military Ranks
Advertisements
HOME
INFANTRY
MODERN ARMIES
SPECIAL FORCES
COUNTRIES
MANUFACTURERS
COMPARE
BY CONFLICT
BY TYPE
BY DECADE
COLD WAR

McDonnell Douglas Scorpion


Multi-Purpose Individual Munition (MPIM) / Urban Fighting Weapon (1985)


Infantry Small Arms / The Warfighter

Jump-to: Specifications

McDonnell Douglas attempted to sell the United States Army on its Scorpion Urban Fighting Weapon during the 1980s - it failed to do so.



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 12/10/2018 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.
Advertisements
In the 1980s, the United States Army enacted the Multi-Purpose Individual Munition (MPIM) program to better equip the standard infantryman with a more devastating urban assault weapon. One of the entries proposed during this period became the "Scorpion" which was produced by long-time aircraft-maker McDonnell Douglas and sponsored by the United States Army Missile Command service. The Scorpion was not adopted for several reasons.

The basic principle behind the Scorpion was a man-portable weapon system that could be fitted under the barrel of the standard-issue M16 assault rifle with the host weapon receiving sort of in-field modification. This resulted in a launch tube-like assembly, very much mimicking the form and function of the in-service, disposable M72 Light Anti-tank Weapon (LAW) (detailed elsewhere on this site). The Scorpion, also made disposable after a single use, was designed to be simple to operate and maintain and allowed the M16 rifle to retain its combat functionality to the fullest. Sighting was through the existing M16 sighting devices but the weapon held its own trigger unit and firing mechanism. Overall weight was 9lb when ready-to-fire and nearly 10lb when carried on-the-march. Overall length was 30.5 inches and the official caliber was 52mm.

In combat, the weapon could be used for breaching all sorts of materials - wood, brick, concrete (reinforced) - and featured a rate-of-fire of nearly five rounds-per-minute. It could also defeat earthen structures and the light armor of vehicles. Effective range was out to 985 feet with a muzzle velocity of 1,350 feet-per-second featured. Listed blast diameter was 20 feet.

However, several key deficiencies were apparent, chiefly its operating weight and length: at 9lb, it weighed more than the host rifle that was intended to carry it, effectively doubling the weight-carrying requirement of the infantryman. Its 30+ inch length also added to the 40-inch M16 rifle and about a quarter of the Scorpion assembly's length protruded ahead of the M16's muzzle - making wielding the complete weapon system in an urban setting unpractical.

Specifications



Service Year
1985

Origin
United States national flag graphic
United States

Classification


Multi-Purpose Individual Munition (MPIM) / Urban Fighting Weapon


McDonnell Douglas Combat Systems - USA
National flag of the United States United States (cancelled)
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Fire Support
Capable of suppressing enemy elements at range through direct or in-direct fire.
Special Purpose
Special purpose weapon for a specially defined battlefield role.


Overall Length
775 mm
30.51 in
Barrel Length
775 mm
30.51 in
Empty Wgt
9.04 lb
4.10 kg
Sights


Existing Host Weapon Iron Sights.


Action


Integrated Action; Disposable Launch Tube

(Material presented above is for historical and entertainment value and should not be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation - always consult official manufacturer sources for such information)


Caliber(s)*


52mm

Rounds / Feed


Single-Shot; Disposable Launch Tube
Cartridge relative size chart
*May not represent an exhuastive list; calibers are model-specific dependent, always consult official manufacturer sources.
**Graphics not to actual size; not all cartridges may be represented visually; graphics intended for general reference only.
Max Eff.Range
985 ft
(300 m | 328 yd)
Rate-of-Fire
5
rds/min
Muzzle Velocity
1,350 ft/sec
(411 m/sec)


Scorpion - Base Series Name.


Military lapel ribbon for the American Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2


Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns / operations.

Advertisements





Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies


2022 Military Pay Scale Army Ranks Navy Ranks Air Force Ranks Alphabet Code DoD Dictionary American War Deaths French Military Victories Vietnam War Casualties

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com.

Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, WDMMA.org, the World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft, and SR71blackbird.org, detailing the history of the world's most iconic spyplane.


Facebook Logo YouTube Logo

www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-