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M136 Light Anti-Armor Weapon (AT4)

Man-Portable, Disposable Anti-Armor Rocket Launcher [ 1987 ]

The AT4 is the primary anti-armor weapon of the United States Army.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 08/10/2023 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

The M136 AT4 is billed as the United States Army's primary light anti-tank weapon system available to infantry squads and is based on the original Swedish AT4 anti-tank shoulder-launched munition system. The system can be used by a single operator against armored targets posing a threat to the lively hood of the infantry squads. Essentially, the M136 AT4 operates as a recoilless rifle (as opposed to a guided missile launcher), allowing for high penetration of armored targets and fires a cartridge round measuring over half the length of the launching tube. When fired, the projectile sports spring loaded fins during flight.

The M136's cartridge round is an 84mm High-Explosive Anti-Tank munition with a rocket-type cartridge, fin stabilization and can achieve free flight once it leaves the launcher (not a wire-guided munition). The launcher itself is a single-piece tube system wrapped in fiberglass and is disposable after one shot.

The United States Army has since stopped purchases of the base AT4 anti-tank system in favor of the newer AT4-CS (Confined Space) implement. The AT4-CS is designated as the M136E1 and holds the advantage of being able to fire from confined areas such as inside of buildings, improving its reach in urban settings. The weapon has a listed effective range of 300 meters and weighs in at only 7.5 kilograms. The recoilless qualities of the M136 family allow for just about any trained operator to fire one and its rugged capabilities mean that the system can receive a great deal of in-the-field abuse and not reflect that in its performance.

The United States Army and the United States Marines utilize the M136 and have since the Invasion of Panama. Over 300,000 of the type have been produced and these under a local license by Alliant Tech Systems in the United States.©MilitaryFactory.com
Note: The above text is EXCLUSIVE to the site www.MilitaryFactory.com. It is the product of many hours of research and work made possible with the help of contributors, veterans, insiders, and topic specialists. If you happen upon this text anywhere else on the internet or in print, please let us know at MilitaryFactory AT gmail DOT com so that we may take appropriate action against the offender / offending site and continue to protect this original work.

March 2022 - The AT-4 is to be featured in the $800 million USD package the United States is sending to equip Ukrainian forces in their fight against Russia.


Basics [+]
Alliant TechSystems (ATS) - USA
Indonesia; Iraq; Ukraine; United States National flag of Indonesia National flag of Iraq National flag of Ukraine National flag of the United States
Service Year
National Origin
United States

Designed to engage and defeat armor / enemy tanks at range.
Qualities of this weapon have shown its value to Special Forces elements requiring a versatile, reliable solution for the rigors of special assignments.

Overall Length
1,020 mm / 40.16 in
Barrel Length
1,020 mm / 40.16 in
Weight (Empty)
3.97 lb / 1.80 kg
Single-Shot, Self-Contained Recoilless Rifle
*May not represent an exhuastive list; Calibers may be model-specific dependent; Always consult official manufacturer sources.
Range Indicator Rear Sight.

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.

Max.Effective Range
985 ft / 300.2 m | 328.3 yds
Muzzle Velocity
950 ft/sec / 290 m/sec

M136 AT4 - Initial Production Model.
M136E1 AT4 - Improved Confined Space Performance.

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Image of the M136 Light Anti-Armor Weapon (AT4)
Top side view of a soldier holding up an M136 AT4
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Image of the M136 Light Anti-Armor Weapon (AT4)
Line drawing of an M136 AT4 with cartridge
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Image of the M136 Light Anti-Armor Weapon (AT4)
A group learns the basics of the M136 AT4
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Image of the M136 Light Anti-Armor Weapon (AT4)
An M136 AT4 is readied
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Image of the M136 Light Anti-Armor Weapon (AT4)
Over-the-Shoulder rear view of a soldier ready to fire his M136 AT4
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Image of the M136 Light Anti-Armor Weapon (AT4)
A soldier secured his M136 AT4 to his steed
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Image of the M136 Light Anti-Armor Weapon (AT4)
Soldiers fire an M136 AT4

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